Box Office: ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Nabs No. 1, ‘Logan Lucky’ Misfires

Hitman's Bodyguard
Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock

Without a superhero movie or new studio sequel in play, this weekend provided an opening for two smaller films to shine. But as the weekend draws to a close, one is beaming brighter than the other.

That title goes to Lionsgate’s R-rated action comedy “Hitman’s Bodyguard,” which is firing off to $21.6 million during its opening weekend at 3,377 locations. That’s a solid opening, especially during a painful summer for the movie business and sleepy month of August. The final tally was fueled by an aggressive marketing push, and a trio of stars at the center — Samuel L. Jackson as a notorious hitman, and Salma Hayek as hit equally threatening wife, and Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard. The film comes courtesy of director Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3”) and writer Tom O’Connor.

“‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ is generating great word of mouth among moviegoers,” said Lionsgate’s distribution president David Spitz. “It has a clear runway in the weeks ahead, and we expect it to play well right into September.”

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LL_00055Adam Driver stars as Clyde Logan and Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan in Steven Soderbergh's LOGAN LUCKY, a Fingerprint Releasing and Bleecker Street release.Credit: Claudette Barius / Fingerprint Releasing | Bleecker Street

Film Review: Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’

Meanwhile, “Logan Lucky” — a critical darling from Steven Soderbergh and Bleecker Street — is sputtering. The heist comedy, which relied on an unconventional production and marketing strategy, looks to make $8.1 million this weekend from 3,031 theaters. The film was partially funded through foreign pre-sales and partnering with Amazon for streaming rights. The story — penned by Rebecca Blunt, who likely doesn’t exist — centers on a trio of siblings played by Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and Adam Driver, who attempt to pull off a massive robbery. It’s set at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race.

Of the two, “Logan Lucky” fared better with critics, earning a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to “Hitman’s Bodyguard,” which has a 39%. But the roles are reversed when it comes to audience reception — “Hitman’s Bodyguard” has a B+ CinemaScore as opposed to “Logan Lucky’s” B.

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In the end, “Logan Lucky” will end up in third for the weekend behind the second frame of “Annabelle: Creation.” The latest in the “Conjuring” universe from Warner Bros. is targeting $15.5 million from 3,542 locations. And “Dunkirk” will land in fourth behind “Logan Lucky” with an estimated $6.7 million.  The same studio has more cause to celebrate as “Wonder Woman” crosses $800 million worldwide.

“Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” rounds out the top five this weekend with $5.1 million.

Outside of the wide releases, TWC continues its gradual rollout for Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River.” This weekend it looks to gross $3 million from 694 locations, raising its total cume past $4.1 million. And major acquisition at Sundance, “Patti Cake$” is struggling to find an audience with $66,000 from 14 locations.

Overall, the summer of hell continues: This season’s box office has slipped to 13.3% behind last year at this point, according to data from ComScore, which also reports the 2017 box office is now pacing 5% behind 2016.

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  1. Rudy Mario says:

    Loan is a badly made/directed movie. The director should go back to retirement. Clearly over the hill. Sad.

  2. adam says:

    “Logan Lucky” failed mostly due to the terrible marketing. The vast majority of the mainstream population (ie not film geeks) had no clue about this movie until it came out. And besides, overall attendance at movie theaters has been declining anyway since it peaked in 2002.

  3. John says:

    I wish “Logan Lucky” well, but they need to adjust their marketing formula, because this experiment didn’t quite work…

    I just compared the numbers & it’s the LOWEST- GROSSING WIDE RELEASE FIRST WEEKEND of Soderbergh’s career !!!

    The main reason is probably, that heist movies are such a cliché now, that even the unusual setting and great cast can’t make it exciting enough.

    I will see this, but it’s nothing that screams “See me in the cinema! Now!”

  4. Deepdust says:

    You must give audiences a reason to show up at the multiplex with HBO, Amazon, Netflix, etc, etc. Logan Lucky appears to be a movie you can catch on HBO in 6-9 months from now and not sweat seeing it first. That’s the issue, gotta compel auds to get there and few films do.

    • adam says:

      Exactly right Deepdust. For the majority of the mainstream population, waiting to watch a new film until it is available for streaming or video on demand is the goal now.

  5. Producer Matthew O’Toole is an action film innovator. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is evidence of his recognizable talent.

  6. Dave Netherton says:

    Well Wonder Woman cracked $800 Million Worldwide what do you know (and it hasn’t been released in Japan yet…next weekend). Just pointing this out because earlier this summer I had a back and forth argument with someone on here and they said it wouldn’t top $800 Million Worldwide. Well it looks like the egg is on your face now isn’t!?!? Suck it!!!

  7. Logan Lucky didn’t do great because it was cliche, uneven, unoriginal and boring. Great cast, a few standout performances amidst a few AWFUL ones, and not as much fun as I thought it was going to be. It seemed like Soderbergh had decided he wanted to make money off of NASCAR fans and devised a plot to do so without regards to a sharp script. What’s hilarious is the armchair executives talking about everything BUT the movie. You can talk about algorithms all you want, but nobody really talks about craft anymore. Make great movies and people find it, make meandering films and get mediocre responses.

    – The Stoner

  8. The odd thing here is Logan Lucky is in better financial shape than Hitman’s Bodyguard.
    We usually look at box numbers, but we miss the actual finances of each movie.
    LL didn’t spend a lot on advertising, because it didn’t have too.

  9. Jimmy Green says:

    Channing Tatum does his best acting in Logan. Really a fun movie and word of mouth should help it.

  10. Marie Coswell says:

    Most of my friends didn’t know it was out …. finally saw it and was totally entertaining and a feel-good film. Better than the other stuff out there. Marketing seems to be where the problem is….

  11. the idea of a “critical darling” has taken on less importance, as audiences learn which critics are reliable. word of mouth means more. overseas markets are more interesting, as they are much further away from u.s. critics and promotion. the most entertaining, “worthwhile” films this year have mostly not been “critical darlings”. maybe there are just too many critics, or maybe we’re becoming our own critics. when reading reviews, i’d much rather see “factual” information than opinions about films. and sometimes films which really divide viewers have been the most worth watching.

  12. Logan Lucky had an unconventianal Marketing strategy? I saw posters, trailers, billboards – pretty standard marketing all told.

    • Jim says:

      Almost no TV support. You couldn’t tell if it was a theatrical release or an Amazon/Netflix streamer.

      Actually, Netflix probably supports their product better than Logan Lucky was.

    • Christina says:

      Whereas I wasn’t even aware the movie existed until reading the box office reports yesterday morning. All in all, the marketing was a huge fail.

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