Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson’s R-rated action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard will survive the box office competition on another down summer weekend, grossing an estimated $21.6 million in the U.S. and Canada and debuting in the No. 1 spot. In doing so, the Lionsgate release is on track to top last week’s winner, Annabelle: Creation, and fellow newcomer Logan Lucky, Steven Soderbergh’s first film in four years.
Starring Reynolds as an “executive protection agent” tasked with safely escorting a top assassin (Jackson) to testify against a dictator, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is poised to slightly exceed industry projections, which had pegged it in the $15 million to $20 million range. That said, it also represents one of the lower first-place openings this year.
The film, directed by Expendables 3 helmer Patrick Hughes, has not impressed critics — it’s currently rated 39% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — but moviegoers gave it a B-plus CinemaScore, indicating decent word-of-mouth prospects.
It’s a different story for the weekend’s other new release, Logan Lucky, which will slide into third place with an estimated $8.1 million.
Marking Soderbergh’s return to filmmaking from a self-imposed retirement, the Nascar-themed heist comedy has garnered excellent reviews (93% fresh) and boasts a star-studded cast that includes Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, and Riley Keough. But the film hasn’t quite resonated with audiences, who gave it a middling B CinemaScore.
Soderbergh bypassed the studio system to get Logan Lucky into theaters, launching Fingerprint Releasing and teaming with indie label Bleecker Street to distribute the movie.
In between the newcomers is Annabelle: Creation, Warner Bros. and New Line’s fourth installment in the Conjuring franchise, which is on pace to earn an estimated $15.5 million this weekend. That figure marks a second-weekend drop of 56 percent — somewhat steep, though on par with the original Annabelle — and it brings the horror flick’s domestic total to $64 million after 10 days in theaters.
Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk and Open Road’s animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature round out the weekend’s top five, grossing an estimated $6.7 million and $5.1 million, respectively.
Amid a summer season that has at times lacked for hits, two movies are set to cross box office milestones this weekend: Universal’s comedy Girls Trip will surpass $100 million in North American theaters, and Warner Bros’. superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman will crack $800 million worldwide.
Per ComScore, overall box office is down 5 percent from the same frame from last year. Check out the Aug. 18-20 figures below.
1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard — $21.6 million
2. Annabelle: Creation — $15.5 million
3. Logan Lucky — $8.1 million
4. Dunkirk — $6.7 million
5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature — $5.1 million
6. The Emoji Movie — $4.4 million
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming — $4.3 million
8. Girls Trip — $3.8 million
9. The Dark Tower — $3.7 million
10. Wind River — $3 million