LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) - “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters.
Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. Directed by Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers” is based on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York magazine article about a group of strippers who turn the tables on their wealthy Wall Street clientele after the 2008 recession hits.
Not all newcomers were as fortunate. Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch,” adapted from Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, misfired with a disastrous $2.6 million from 2,542 locations. Those ticket sales are well behind projections that estimated an opening weekend near $12 million. The mystery drama, which cost $40 million to produce, stars Ansel Elgort stars as Theo, a young man who turns to art forgery after losing his mother in a freak tragedy. “The Goldfinch” was skewered by critics after it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Despite a sour start for “The Goldfinch,” Warner Bros. still dominated box office charts. For the second weekend in a row, “It: Chapter Two” was the No. 1 movie in North America. The scary sequel pocketed another $40 million this weekend, boosting its domestic tally to $153 million. Between “It: Chapter Two” and its predecessor, the franchised based on Stephen King’s horror novel has generated over $1 billion worldwide.
Lionsgate’s “Angel Has Fallen” slid to third place, adding $4.4 million in its fourth weekend of release. At No. 4, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys” picked up $4.2 million, taking its bounty to a solid $73 million in North America. Rounding out the top five is Disney’s “The Lion King” with $3.5 million. After nine weeks in theaters, the remake has amassed a mighty $534 million at the domestic box office.