F. Gary Gray Sets New Record For Black Directors With ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Movies & TV

N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton continues to cruise into elite box office territory as it sets yet another cinematic record. With the film pulling in an estimated $157.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, director F. Gary Gray has officially become the highest-grossing black director of a single film in domestic sales. Gray has edged out Keenen Ivory Wayans, whose classic Scary Movie film raked in $157 million back in 2000, and Tim Story, who earned $154.6 with Fantastic Four in 2005.

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While Gray now holds the domestic crown amongst his peers, Straight Outta Compton has yet to break the international box office ground of Wayans and Story. At $24.9 million in foreign ticket sales, the film lags behind Scary Movie, which did $121 million internationally, and Fantastic Four, which outperformed both movies overseas with $175.8 in foreign sales. Straight Outta Compton is the only film in the bunch that is based on a true story, however, and is also set apart as a “hip-hop” film.

“There’s a humanity to the story that you wouldn’t normally associate with this genre of music,” Gray told Vice. “That was important to me. I want you to get to know the guys behind the tracks, behind the lyrics and beats, and get a sense of them as human beings. That’s what makes this special, because you can’t just google ‘N.W.A.’ and get these details.”

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Upon the movie’s colossal opening weekend, Gray took to Twitter with shock and gratitude:

Bravo, F. Gary Gray. Bravo.