The faith-based drama War Room earned an estimated $3.875 million on Friday, putting it slightly ahead of reigning box-office champ Straight Outta Comptom, which grossed an estimated $3.83 million.
Directed by Alex Kendrick, War Room was torn apart by critics (the film scored just 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but embraced by audiences. (As Forbes noted, its CinemaScore grade was A-plus.) The film focuses on an African-American couple who turns to prayer in an effort to help out with their struggling marriage.
This isn’t the first time one of Kendrick’s films has surprised at the box office: Back in 2011, Kendrick’s Courageous finished fourth during its opening weekend with $9.1 million in ticket sales.
Despite the Friday win for War Room, however, it’s still expected that Straight Outta Compton will top the box office come Sunday. The F. Gary Gray film about N.W.A is already over $120 million at the box office, making it one of the biggest hits of the summer.
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