Straight Outta Compton is having a killer opening weekend, pulling in a projected $56.1 million and scoring rave reviews from the majority of film critics and fans. And after a screening for Academy Award voters the N.W.A. biopic is now being seen as one of the first potential Oscar contenders of the year.
According to THR, Universal has become “bullish” about the film’s award show prospects. Attendance was higher than usual at Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, which screens most major releases. Those in attendance gave a round of applause to Compton’s pre-credit scene, with the warm reception continuing after the film ended.
“It succeeds as a studio picture while transcending what that usually is,” an Academy member told THR. “It’s a very visceral, poetic, terrific film. It is worthy of some real consideration, particularly I think for acting, directing and even best picture—but, but, it’s very early in the season, and there are a zillion other pictures coming out.”
While it’s still very early, Compton could become the surprise Oscar contender for 2016. But it’d be far from the first time N.W.A. shocked the world.