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.
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 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.
Of the two, Logan Lucky fared better with critics, earning a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to Hitman’s Bodyguard, which has a 39 percent. But the roles are reversed when it comes to audience reception — Hitman’s Bodyguard has a B-plus CinemaScore as opposed to Logan Lucky’s B.
Outside of the wide releases, TWC continues its gradual rollout for Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River. This weekend it looks to gross $3 million from 694 locations, raising its total cume past $4.1 million.