Lionsgate’s R-rated buddy romp “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” as predicted, topped the domestic box office for the second weekend in a row as Hollywood’s newest releases slumped into theaters, all three opening short of $6 million.
Starring Samuel L. Jackson as an imprisoned assassin who needs the help of bodyguard Ryan Reynolds, “Hitman” (which cost $30 million to make) earned $10 million this week in the U.S. and Canada for a cumulative total of $39.6 million. The action comedy, which received mixed reviews — earning a B+ rating on CinemaScore but a stale 39% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes — made $21.6 million in its opening weekend and has dropped 53% since last week.
Maintaining the No. 2 spot (despite a 53% drop since last weekend) was Warner Bros’ horror prequel “Anabelle: Creation.” The film brought in $7.6 million in its third week for a cumulative total of $77.9 million domestically. The origin story of a possessed doll that terrorizes families, Annabelle was first introduced in “The Conjuring” series before receiving her own standalone movie in 2014. “Annabelle: Creation” boasts a modest 67% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a B rating on CinemaScore.
The Weinstein Co. locked down the third and fourth spots with the animated adventure “Leap!” and the thriller “Wind River” respectively.
“Leap,” about an orphan girl who dreams of becoming a dancer in Paris, brought in $5 million in its first weekend, on par with the soft $5 to $7 million analysts predicted. The film features the voices of Elle Fanning, Kate McKinnon and pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, among others. “Leap!” was met with mixed reviews by audiences, earning an A-rating on CinemaScore yet only a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie is meant to kick-start a new line of business for Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who announced this month that they’d be launching an animated film label, Mizchief, to compete in the crowded family film market. Known for indie films, the Weinstein Co. has distributed kid-friendly films in the past, including “Paddington” in 2015 and the live-action “Spy Kids” series that began in 2001.
“Wind River” jumped 48% since last weekend (the only increase among this week’s top 10 films), raking in $4.4 million for a cumulative total of $9.8 million.
“We’re very happy with the results,” said Laurent Ouaknine, the studio’s head of distribution. “The film continues to play mainly to its core audience but we are rocking out. We’re looking forward to a strong Labor Day weekend.”
Set on a Native American reservation in Wyoming, the crime thriller added 1,401 theater locations in its fourth week for a total of 2,095. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (screenwriter of “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water”), the film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen and earned a solid 85% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top 5 was Steven Soderbergh’s action comedy “Logan Lucky,” distributed by Fingerprint Releasing and Bleecker Street. Starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers who try to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race, the $29-million film brought in $4.4 million in its second weekend for a total of $15 million, experiencing a 43% drop since last week. “Lucky” received a B rating on CinemaScore and a 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes and Hilary Swank also star.
Blumhouse Productions’ experimental label BH Tilt and WWE Studios’ martial arts origin story “Birth of the Dragon” debuted at No. 8 in its first weekend, earning $2.5 million (less than the studio’s hopes of at least $3.25 million) across 1,618 locations. Set in 1960s San Francisco, the film is an homage to Bruce Lee’s classic martial arts movies, particularly the legendary showdown between Kung Fu master Wong Jack Man and Lee, before the latter became an international star. The film earned a B rating on CinemaScore and a 27% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Dragon” grossed just $101,100 more than Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Conor McGregor boxing match despite that being a one-night only special event. The fight, distributed across 481 theaters by Fathom Events, came in at No. 9 on the box office charts and brought in a whopping $2.4 million.
Fellow newcomer “All Saints,” distributed by Sony Pictures’ faith-based division Affirm Films, and starring John Corbett (“Sex and the City”), earned $1.5 million in just 846 theaters. Based on a true story, “Saints,” about salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock who tries to save the struggling church he was ordered to shut down, received an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Affirm is best known for Christian hits such as “Miracles From Heaven” and “War Room.”
Evangelical movies sometimes get a boost by marketing directly to the faithful and working with pastors and other influential faith leaders, but they have been hit-or-miss at the box office. The last genuine mainstream hit in the genre was Lionsgate’s “The Shack,” which received a wide release in March. It opened with $16 million in 2,888 theaters on its way to $57 million in ticket sales domestically.
On the limited release front, Neon opened “Beach Rats” in three locations, earning $45,008 for a per screen average of $15,003. The R-rated film, which debuted at no. 41 on the box office chart, stars newbie Harris Dickinson as a Brooklyn teenager who seeks to escape the bleakness of his life by getting into trouble and flirting with older men online.
Next week, Sony Pictures re-releases the sci-fi classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”; the Weinstein Co. debuts drama “Tulip Fever”; and in limited release, the Film Arcade will put out “I Do...Until I Don’t.”