â€œHustlersâ€ 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, â€œHustlersâ€ 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 Presslerâ€™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.
â€œHustlers,â€ costing $20 million to produce, is a needed win for STX after the studioâ€™s string of summer flops including â€œUglydolls,â€ â€œPomsâ€ and â€œThe Best of Enemies.â€ Prior to â€œHustlers,â€ the companyâ€™s biggest opening weekend was â€œBad Momsâ€ with $23.8 million.
Not all newcomers were as fortunate. Warner Bros.â€™ â€œTheÂ Goldfinch,â€ adapted from Donna Tarttâ€™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. â€œTheÂ Goldfinchâ€ was skewered by critics after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Despite a sour start for â€œThe Goldfinch,â€ Warner Bros. still dominated box office charts as â€œIt: Chapter Twoâ€ 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 â€œIt: Chapter Twoâ€ and its predecessor, the franchised based on Stephen Kingâ€™s horror novel has generated over $1 billion worldwide.
Lionsgateâ€™s â€œAngel Has Fallenâ€ slid to third place, adding $4.4 million in its fourth weekend of release. At No. 4, Universalâ€™s comedy â€œGood Boysâ€ picked up $4.2 million, taking its bounty to a solid $73 million in North America. Rounding out the top five is Disneyâ€™s â€œThe Lion Kingâ€ 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, Sonyâ€™s â€œOnce Upon a Time in Hollywoodâ€ hit $329.4 million worldwide, surpassing â€œInglourious Basterdsâ€ ($323.4 million) to become the second-highest grossing film of director Quentin Tarantinoâ€™s career. â€œDjango Unchainedâ€ remains his biggest movie to date with $425 million globally.
More to comeâ€¦