Although “It Chapter Two” topped the box office for a second consecutive weekend, STX Entertainment’s “Hustlers” was the big winner, posting a career-best opening for stars Jennifer Lopez and “Crazy Rich Asians” actress Constance Wu.
Warner Bros.’ “It” sequel added $40.7 million in its second weekend of release (a 55% drop) for a cumulative $153.8 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. It currently stands at $323.3 million in worldwide receipts.
In second place, “Hustlers” debuted with $33.2 million, the best start ever for the studio and the biggest live-action opening for both Lopez (ahead of “Monster-in-Law’s” $23.1 million in 2005) and Wu (topping “Crazy Rich Asians’” $26 million last year). Analysts initially projected the film would earn about $25 million in domestic ticket sales.
In the movie, Lopez plays a seasoned stripper who, alongside Wu, Keke Palmer and Lili Reinhart, runs a racket scamming Wall Street bankers in wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Music artists Cardi B and Lizzo provide supporting roles.
The picture’s opening weekend hit key demographics with an audience that was 67% female and 69% over age 25. The results rewarded STX’s outreach efforts attracting diverse moviegoers with 36% white, 26% African American, 27% Latinx, 9% Asian and 3% Native American or other ethnicities.
Directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film was inspired by a 2015 New York Magazine article. The movie earned a B-minus CinemaScore but an 87% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
The $20-million film is a much-needed win for STX, which has struggled to produce breakout hits recently. Although the studio’s Kevin Hart comedy-drama “The Upside” (a remake of the French movie “The Intouchables”) was a surprise hit, STX has also had several high-profile flops this year, including “UglyDolls” and “Poms.”
At No. 3, Lionsgate’s “Angel Has Fallen” added $4.4 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $60.4 million.
In fourth place, Universal’s “Good Boys” added $4.3 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative $73.3 million.
Rounding out the top five, Disney’s “The Lion King” added $3.5 million in its ninth weekend for a cumulative $534 million. It is now at $1.6 billion globally.
At No. 6, Universal’s “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” added $2.8 million in its seventh weekend for a cumulative $168.3 million.
In seventh place, Sony’s “Overcomer” added $2.7 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $29 million.
At No. 8, the weekend’s second wide release, Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch,” bombed with $2.6 million, far below analyst projections of $7 million to $12 million. The result is one of the worst starts ever for a movie opening in more than 2,500 cinemas.
The $40-million picture, based on the 2013 Donna Tartt novel of the same name, stars Ansel Elgort as a young adult grappling with the death of his mother in a bombing at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. It earned a B CinemaScore and a 25% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Warner Bros. has also struggled at the box office this year with recent misses including “Blinded by the Light” and “The Kitchen.”
In ninth place, Roadside Attractions’ “The Peanut Butter Falcon” added $1.92 million in its sixth weekend for a cumulative $15 million.
Rounding out the top 10, Paramount’s “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” added $1.85 million in its sixth weekend for a cumulative $56.7 million.
In limited release, Neon opened “Monos” in five locations to $43,285 for a per-screen average of $8,657.
Abramorama opened “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements” in one location to $7,120.
Variance Films released Shudder’s Japanese zombie comedy “One Cut of the Dead” on two screens to $6,200 for a per-screen average of $3,100.
“Brittany Runs a Marathon,” Amazon Studios’ film starring Jillian Bell, added more than 500 locations, to 757, earning $1.6 million in its fourth weekend for a per-screen average of $2,048 and a cumulative $3.8 million.
“Official Secrets,” IFC Films’ true-life spy thriller starring Keira Knightley, expanded into 330 locations in its third week, earning $571,560 for a per-screen average of $1,732 and a cumulative $957, 071.
Greenwich Entertainment and 1091 expanded the documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” into 220 locations from seven, earning $734,636 for a per-screen average of $3,339 and a cumulative $889,879.
Oscilloscope Labs expanded “Ms. Purple” into four locations from one last weekend, earning $13,650 for a per-screen average of $3,413 and a cumulative $31,878.
Music Box Films expanded “Edie” into nine locations from seven last weekend, earning $10,797 for a per-screen average of $1,200 and a cumulative $26,446.
In advance of its domestic release this weekend, Universal’s “Downton Abbey” began its international roll-out, earning $11.7 million in 17 markets including the U.K., where it posted the No. 1 opening of the weekend with $6.3 million.
This week, Fox opens the Brad Pitt sc-fi thriller “Ad Astra” and Lionsgate releases the action movie “Rambo: Last Blood.”