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'Straight Outta Compton' latest summer success

"Straight Outta Compton" has gone straight through the roof. The hip-hop biopic about gangsta rap group NWA debuted last weekend with a box-office take of $60.2 million, more than twice the movie's $29 million budget.

"Compton," which had the fifth biggest August opening weekend ever, is shaping up as this summer's unexpected hit. Here are some films from summers past that caught everyone by surprise.

EASY RIDER (1969) The road movie had come a long way since Hope and Crosby hopped on a camel to Morocco. This landmark biker drama spoke to the Woodstock generation and also revved up Jack Nicholson's career. Made for a measly $400,000, it succeeded to the tune of a $41.7 million domestic gross as well as Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (1998) After their bowling comedy "Kingpin" turned out to be a gutterball, brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly didn't hold anything back with this gross-out comedy a geek who tracks down the hot girl from high school he still has a crush on. "Mary" had something all right and pulled in $176.4 million, more than five times its production costs.

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999) This cheaply made movie consisting of "found footage" shot by three filmmakers who got lost during a hike conjured up an astonishing $140.5 million domestically. It also paved the way for similarly shot thrillers like "Cloverfield" and "Paranormal Activity."

THE SIXTH SENSE (1999) Haley Joel Osment saw dead people, but no one could have seen M. Night Shyamalan's tale of the supernatural raking in a very lively box-office gross of $293.5 million.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002) This "Wedding" had some reception. Writer-star Nia Vardalos' low-budget rom com about a Greek woman who falls for a non-Greek cleaned up with $241.4 million and also gave a boost to sales of Windex.

TED (2012) Who would have guessed that a bromance between a man and a foul-mouthed teddy bear would reap $218.8 million in ticket sales? The raunchfest's big payday spawned this summer's "Ted 2," which had the stuffing kicked out of it by audiences and critics.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014) Even though it was less well-known than other Marvel comics and star Chris Pratt had yet to show off his box-office muscle, this superhero saga not only had the biggest opening ever for an August release, it was the highest-grossing movie of 2014.


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