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According to, Affirm/Sony’s faith-based title War Room looks to have inched out Universal/Legendary’s Straight Outta Compton$3.87M to $3.85M at Friday’s B.O. Last night, War Room looked like it had some distance from Compton, but morning figures show the F. Gary Gray film with more dough. War Room is the fifth film by director Alex Kendrick, and it’s the second consecutive film of his to earn A+ CinemaScores after his 2011 Courageous, a feat no other director has pulled off. The film about a strained family that finds redemption through an elderly lady’s prayer war room is on track to make an estimated $10.2M this weekend, putting it second behind Compton.  That is 100% more than the industry was projecting it to be at 1,135 theaters and if the estimates hold, War Room will easily become Kendrick’s highest opener ever after Courageous ($9.1M), also from TriStar. Many in town didn’t see War Room coming, except for Fandango which noticed that advance ticket sales for the Kendrick movie were second to Compton‘s.

While there’s been an abundance of faith-based films recently, when they click with the flock, they definitely work. Kendrick is already a brand among them with Fireproof and Courageous surpassing near $35M domestic cumes from shoestring budgets. War Room was made for an estimated $3.5M, higher than Courageous’ $2M production cost and Fireproof‘s $500K. War Room‘s anticipated weekend will beat the $9.2M for God’s Not Dead. The last high for a faith-based title was April 2014’s Heaven Is for Real ($22.5M).

The usual recipe of Christian grassroots marketing toward pastors and churches was key in creating momentum for War Room; the initiative began a year before release. Relish Mix spotted 40 War Room videos being flooded on Facebook, however, the page only added 4K fans a day for a current total of 540K. Twitter followers are lighter near 2,500. Females over 25 are giving War Room a huge 76% definite recommend according to Rentrak’s PostTrak, which makes sense since a majority of them showed up with 84% over 25 and 66% female. African Americans turned out in great numbers at 44%. General audiences at 68% gave War Room a thumbs up. 38% of those buying tickets came out for the subject matter. Overall CinemaScore is an astounding A+. The last film to nab that grade this year was American Sniper. 

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