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The Hitman’s Bodyguard is hitting the target at the domestic box office, where it grossed an estimated $8 million Friday from 3,377 theaters for a projected $20 million-$21 million debut, more than enough to win the weekend ahead of Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky.
Neither film lacks for star power, although it looks like another sluggish weekend overall as summer winds down, with revenue down as much as 30 percent over the same weekend last year.
Hitman’s Bodyguard, an action comedy, follows the world’s top bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who is assigned a new client — an infamous hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) who must be protected until he can testify at a trial. It’s directed by Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3).
From Lionsgate, Hitman’s Bodyguard is succeeding despite a 38 percent rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave it a B+ CinemaScore, compared to a B for Logan Lucky, which conversely boasts a stellar 93 percent certified fresh RT score.
While a critical darling, Logan Lucky — made outside the Hollywood studio system — is turning in a disappointing performance. The heist pic grossed an estimated $2.8 million from 3,031 locations Friday for a projected $7.7 million debut, one of the director’s lowest openings. It is his first film in four years after his previously announced “retirement.”
Bleecker Street is releasing the heist pic on behalf of Soderbergh’s Fingerprint Releasing. Soderbergh raised $20 million to market the film so that he could manage the film’s trailers and other marketing materials.
Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes and Hilary Swank, Logan Lucky follows two brothers’ attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. The pic cost $29 million to make.
There are no other new movies opening nationwide this weekend.
Among holdovers, New Line’s Annabelle: Creation will place No. 2 with an estimated $15 million-$16 million in its second weekend.
Logan Lucky should beat Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and place No. 3. The Nut Job: Nutty by Nature will round out the top five.
At the specialty box office, Fox Searchlight is debuting Sundance sensation Patti Cakes$ in 14 locations, while The Weinstein Co.’s Wind River makes a major expansion as it ups its theater count to nearly 700 locations.
Aug. 18, 1 p.m. Updated with weekend estimates.
Aug. 19, 7:30 a.m. Updated with weekend estimates.
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