CNN Surprised ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Didn’t Cause Violence, Earned Record Money Instead


By Kay Steiger

CNN ran a segment on Monday reporting that there wasn’t violence at movie theaters during the opening weekend of the hip-hop oriented film Straight Outta Compton.

CNN host Ashleigh Banfield reported, “Some movie theaters were worried about violence when Straight Outta Compton hit the screen. Instead, it only led to longer lines, ticket lines and some big money, too.”

Banfield brought on CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander to discuss the reaction to the film. “There are some police organizations that are calling on people — members and maybe even beyond their members — not to see this movie because of the message they think it sends,” said Alexander, who was a police officer in the 1980s when the group’s hits first came out. “We really have to get away from this whole ‘f the police’ to ‘support the police.’”

The film tells the story of N.W.A., a group from Compton, California that was highly influential in the early days of hip-hop, and included several members that are still famous today, including Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who also produced the film.

The film earned $56 million on opening weekend, a record for an R-rated film opening in August. Police reportedly patrolled theaters showing the film, but violence failed to materialize.

Universal, the company behind Straight Outta Compton, said they had “not solicited enhanced security for theaters” showing the film last weekend.

Some movie theaters have stepped up additional security screening after 59-year-old John Russell Houser, a white man, shot several at a movie theater in Louisiana at a screening of the Amy Schumer film Trainwreck. Reporting in the Wall Street Journal suggested the increased security was inspired not only by the shooting, but also ongoing racial tensions and “the rap biopic’s gang-oriented subject matter.”

A previous version of this post listed the incorrect CNN host.

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