“Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters.
Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. Directed by Lorene Scafaria, the R-rated heist thriller is based on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York magazine article about a group of strippers who turn the tables on their wealthy Wall Street clientele after the 2008 recession hits.
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Young women turned out in force: Among opening weekend crowds, 67% were female and 69% were over the age of 25. The female-led ensemble also includes Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B.
“Hustlers,” costing $20 million to produce, is a needed win for STX after the studio’s string of summer flops including “Uglydolls,” “Poms” and “The Best of Enemies.” Prior to “Hustlers,” the company’s biggest opening weekend was “Bad Moms” with $23.8 million.
Not all newcomers were as fortunate. Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch,” adapted from Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, misfired with a disastrous $2.6 million from 2,542 locations. Those ticket sales are well behind projections that estimated an opening weekend near $12 million. The mystery drama, which cost $40 million to produce, stars Ansel Elgort stars as Theo, a young man who turns to art forgery after losing his mother in a freak tragedy. “The Goldfinch” was skewered by critics after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Despite a sour start for “The Goldfinch,” Warner Bros. still dominated box office charts as “It: Chapter Two” stayed No. 1 for the second weekend in a row. The scary sequel pocketed another $40 million this weekend, boosting its domestic tally to $153 million. Between “It: Chapter Two” and its predecessor, the franchised based on Stephen King’s horror novel has generated over $1 billion worldwide.
Lionsgate’s “Angel Has Fallen” slid to third place, adding $4.4 million in its fourth weekend of release. At No. 4, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys” picked up $4.2 million, taking its bounty to a solid $73 million in North America. Rounding out the top five is Disney’s “The Lion King” with $3.5 million. After nine weeks in theaters, the remake has amassed a mighty $534 million at the domestic box office.
In other box office milestones, Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” hit $329.4 million worldwide, surpassing “Inglourious Basterds” ($323.4 million) to become the second-highest grossing film of director Quentin Tarantino’s career. “Django Unchained” remains his biggest movie to date with $425 million globally.
More to come…