The Hitman’s Bodyguard Hits Big in Theaters
Lionsgate’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard was No. 1 with a bullet last weekend (Aug. 18-20), grossing $21.38 million in its debut weekend – significantly above expectations.
The buddy action-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson benefitted from the drawing power of its two stars. Its weekend total puts it far ahead of last year’s War Dogs, which grossed $14.3 million in its opening weekend. The Hitman’s Bodyguard had the advantage of weak competition, as summer winds to a close and the season’s tentpole releases fade away. Audiences also liked the film much better than the critics did.
Starting in third place was Steven Soderbergh’s heist comedy Logan Lucky. Its starry cast couldn’t stop it from opening to a soft $7.60 million in 3,031 locations. Awareness for the film may have suffered from Soderbergh’s unorthodox distribution strategy, which saw him skirting the major studios in order to retain creative control of the film’s marketing (and a higher percentage of the gross). It secured its theatrical release through indie distributor Bleecker Street.
Starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers attempting a heist during a NASCAR race, Logan Lucky finished with a strong critical rating, but wasn’t able to pick up steam with audiences. The film’s disappointing start will inevitably raise questions about Soderbergh’s renegade distribution strategy.
Last weekend’s champ, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Annabelle: Creation, held up well in its second weekend with $15.61 million, good enough for a second place finish. The prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and latest entry in the Conjuring series has brought in $64.14 million so far and may well top its predecessor’s $84 million total when all is said and done.
Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk also continued to hold well in its fifth weekend, dropping just 39.2 percent with $6.61 million in fourth place. Positive reviews and director Christopher Nolan’s ardent fanbase have kept the title strong over the last half of the summer, and it now stands at a domestic total of $165.42 million.
Among holdovers, Open Road’s critically-assailed animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature brought in $5.09 million in fifth place, giving it $17.68 million in two weeks with not much left in the tank.
Meanwhile, period drama The Glass Castle starring Brie Larson grossed $2.55 million in 12th place in its second week for a $9.71 million total.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight’s Sundance drama Patti Cake$ starring newcomer Danielle McDonald as an aspiring rapper had a so-so start with $67,599 from 14 locations, or about $4,700 per screen.
The top 10 films last weekend earned $75.67 million total. That is 20.6 percent below the $95.25 million total earned by the top 10 the previous weekend. It’s also 32.7 percent below the total earned by the top 10 on the same weekend last year, when Suicide Squadled with $20.86 million.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|1||—||The Hitman’s Bodyguard||$21.38M||$21.38M||1|
|5||3||The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature||$5.09M||$17.68M||2|
|6||6||The Emoji Movie||$4.44M||$71.86M||4|
|9||4||The Dark Tower||$3.79M||$41.67M||3|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.