August 22, 2017 11:30 AM NPT
LOS ANGELES, August 22: Without a superhero movie or new studio sequel in play, this weekend provided an opening for two smaller films to shine. But as the weekend draws to a close, one is beaming brighter than the other.
That title goes to Lionsgate's R-rated action comedy 'Hitman's Bodyguard', which is firing off to $21.6 million during its opening weekend at 3,377 locations. That's a solid opening, especially during a painful summer for the movie business and sleepy month of August.
The final tally was fueled by an aggressive marketing push, and a trio of stars at the center -- Samuel L Jackson as a notorious hitman, and Salma Hayek as hit equally threatening wife, and Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard. The film comes courtesy of director Patrick Hughes ('The Expendables 3') and writer Tom O'Connor.
"'The Hitman's Bodyguard' is generating great word of mouth among moviegoers," said Lionsgate's distribution president David Spitz. "It has a clear runway in the weeks ahead, and we expect it to play well right into September."
Meanwhile, 'Logan Lucky’ -- a critical darling from Steven Soderbergh and Bleecker Street -- is sputtering. The heist comedy, which relied on an unconventional production and marketing strategy, looks to make $8.1 million this weekend from 3,031 theaters.
The film was partially funded through foreign pre-sales and partnering with Amazon for streaming rights. The story -- penned by Rebecca Blunt, who likely doesn't exist -- centers on a trio of siblings played by Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and Adam Driver, who attempt to pull off a massive robbery. It's set at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.
In the end, ‘Logan Lucky’ will end up in third for the weekend behind the second frame of ‘Annabelle: Creation.’ The latest in the ‘Conjuring’ universe from Warner Bros is targeting $15.5 million from 3,542 locations. And ‘Dunkirk’ will land in fourth behind ‘Logan Lucky’ with an estimated $6.7 million. The same studio has more cause to celebrate as ‘Wonder Woman’ crosses $800 million worldwide.