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The Weinstein Co.’s Lawless debuted to $1.14 million on Wednesday, placing No. 1 and earning a solid B+ CinemaScore from audiences.
Directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road), the Prohibition-era drama sports a star-heavy cast led by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska.
The film, set in rural Virginia, is based on Max Bondurant’s best-selling book The Wettest County in the World, which follows three brothers caught up in the moonshine business. The novel is based on Bondurant’s grandfather and two brothers.
Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick produced the movie, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The film skewed slightly male on Wednesday (54 percent), while 33 percent of the audience was younger than 25.
By opening Lawless on Wednesday, The Weinstein Co. hopes to build good word-of-mouth heading into the long Labor Day weekend.
Coming in No. 2 on Wednesday was Lionsgate and Millennium Films’ The Expendables 2, grossing $1.05 million for a domestic total of $56.3 million.
The anti-Barack Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America continued to make headlines, placing No. 3 with an estimated $818,000 from 1,091 theaters for a cume of $12.4 million. By Friday, the film is expected to be playing in more than 1,700 theaters.
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