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Lorene Scafaria’s star-studded, female-led drama Hustlers is tracking for a strong $24 million debut at the U.S. box office, according to those with access to the surveys.
From STX Entertainment, the movie stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo. Hustlers is set to open in theaters Sept. 13, following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Based on Jessica Pressler’s New York magazine story “The Hustlers at Scores,” the film follows a crew of strip-club employees hoping to get back at the affluent Wall Street clients who have wronged them.
STX is in need of a box office win after its high-profile miss Uglydolls. The indie studio has pushed back several releases, including 21 Bridges and Playmobil: The Movie, while Hustlers has remained a priority.
Insiders say Hustlers cost a relatively modest $20 million to produce before marketing, and that even an opening in the mid- to high-teen millions would be a great start for the pic. They note that Hustlers sports as much unaided awareness as films including Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born.
STX previously enjoyed success with the female-skewing Bad Moms and A Bad Mom’s Christmas. To date, Bad Moms is the studio’s biggest opener at $23.8 million.
Hustlers will bow nationwide against Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios’ The Goldfinch, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a young man (Ansel Elgort) whose troubled childhood leads him to become an art forger. Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson and Jeffrey Wright also star.
The Goldfinch is tracking to open to $8 million to $10 million. Both it and Hustlers have three weeks left in which to make their final marketing pushes.
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