According to Variety, “All Eyez on Me,” a biopic of Tupac Shakur from Lionsgate and Summit, is expected to earn just over $27 million in its opening weekend. That’s above most estimates, which had it in the $17 million to $22 million range earlier in the week, but below the $30 million it was projected to score as recently as Saturday. “All Eyez on Me” won’t break any box office records, but for a movie with a $45 million budget, that’s a solid opening. What’s more noteworthy, though, is just how “unpredictable” it has been.
“All Eyez on Me” didn’t get much help from critics — its aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes stands at only 24%. It was also known as a troubled production. A Vulture report detailed how it was first conceived in 1997, and landed in theaters two decades later having weathered multi-million dollar lawsuits and writer and director changes. While it did receive support from some key celebrities, others like Jada Pinkett Smith and John Singleton were outspoken in their criticism of the film and its portrayal of Shakur. Upon finishing the shoot, producer L.T. Hutton posted a message on Instagram that summed up the journey in all caps: “HARD WORK PASSION, DETERMINATION AND PERSISTENCE !!! GOT IT DONE !!! POINT BLANK !!!!”
And fans showed up. Advance ticket sales were one positive indication that the movie would perform well. And the release date, pegged to what would have been Shakur’s 46th birthday, helped it post especially large numbers on Friday, and in Thursday previews when it topped weekend winner “Cars 3.”
Sidebar: I saw the movie over the weekend and I give it a 7. Even though it wasn't the best biopic I have ever seen I am glad it was made and that I went to see it. I think black people should support it. Do you know how many whack white movies get supported? Thousands! It is so difficult to get a movie made and takes so much time that I feel like we should at least go see it. Even if you end up hating it go and make that decision for yourself.