×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: Can STX Catch a Break With ‘Hustlers’?

After a rough couple months for STX, help could be on the way in the form of a pole-twirling, Robin Hooding Jennifer Lopez.

Hustlers,” a heist drama about a group of strippers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clientele, looks primed to be a box office hit when it arrives on the big screen this weekend. The R-rated comedic thriller is expected to earn between $20 million and $26 million when it debuts in 3,250 North American theaters. Those ticket sales would be an especially solid start at a time when Netflix and other streamers are challenging audiences’ appetite for mid-budget fare at multiplexes.

For STX, “Hustlers” would be more than just a win for counterprogramming against blockbusters like Warner Bros. “It: Chapter Two.” After a string of summer flops such as “Uglydolls,” “Poms” and “The Best of Enemies,” box office success for “Hustlers” would be a sign of renewed confidence in the mid-level studio. While STX has fielded the occasional hit, the company hasn’t quite found its footing when it comes to offering cost-effective comedies and dramas that moviegoers actually want to see. Earlier this year, the studio scored with the feel-good drama “The Upside,” which STX bought after the Weinstein Company went under. The company recently teamed with Lopez on “Second Act,” a romantic comedy that collected $72 million from a $16 million budget. “Hustlers” was slightly pricier with a $20 million price tag. If “Hustlers” reaches the higher end of estimates, it could mark a record opening weekend for STX. That benchmark is currently held by the raunchy comedy “Bad Moms” ($23.8 million).

Unlike “Uglydolls” and “Poms,” “Hustlers” has the benefit of critical support. The movie arrived to much fanfare — and Oscar buzz for Lopez — after its worldwide premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers” is based on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York magazine article titled “Hustlers at the Score.” While festival buzz doesn’t always translate into ticket sales, “Hustlers” should also prosper from a high-wattage cast that includes Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B.

Scafaria, along with producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum, began developing the movie at Annapurna, the studio behind auteur-driven favorites like “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Phantom Thread.” But after dropped the film amid financial struggles, STX nabbed the rights.

“Hustlers” is debuting against another adult-skewed title that didn’t get quite the same buzz out of Toronto. Warner Bros.’ mystery drama “The Goldfinch” is hoping to generate $7 million to $12 million from 2,542 venues. The mystery drama, which cost $40 million to produce, is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Donna Tartt. Ansel Elgort stars as Theo, a young man who turns to art forgery after losing his mother in a freak tragedy. “The Goldfinch” holds a bleak 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman maintains the movie is faithful to the source material, “yet still misses the book’s captivating essence.”

Even if “The Goldfinch” struggles, Warner Bros. will still dominate domestic box office charts. The studio’s horror sequel “It: Chapter Two” will again reclaim first place on box office charts and could earn $45 million during its second weekend in theaters. Directed by Andy Muschietti, the culmination to the film adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying novel launched with $91 million in North America. “It: Chapter Two” has since generated $190 million in worldwide ticket sales, with $94 million of that haul coming from overseas.

More Film

  • Li Shaohong

    Li Shaohong Revisits Macao and Chinese War Films

    Fifth generation director Li Shaohong’s career has spanned the entire length of the Chinese film market’s rise, from its days as a state-run industry churning out nothing but social realist films to its current stage of supporting ever more sophisticated and lucrative blockbusters and genre films. The current head of the China Film Directors’ Guild, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Johnny Ma on the Dynamics of New Era Film Production in China

    Shanghai-born Canadian filmmaker Johnny Ma says he’d planned to make three films in China before moving on to other things, but the current state of the Chinese industry has “forced his hand” and convinced him to move on early after two. Currently living in Mexico, his next project is actually in TV: a pilot for [...]

  • 'Wonder Woman 1984' Trailer: Gal Gadot

    'Wonder Woman 1984' Trailer: Gal Gadot Returns With Pedro Pascal, Kristen Wiig

    “Wonder Woman 1984” dropped its first trailer on Sunday, with Gal Gadot returning as the titular Amazonian goddess. The film is set, of course, in the 1980s in America, decades after the first film’s events. Kristen Wiig is playing Wonder Woman’s infamous comic-book nemesis Cheetah, while Chris Pine is returning for the sequel. It’s unclear, [...]

  • Over the Sea

    Macao Film Review: 'Over the Sea'

    The beginning is a fairy tale, or a nursery rhyme. A woman nurses her squalling baby in a house by an orchard near the sea. Sunlight slants in through the open windows, the mother hums a lullaby, and then brings her son outside and places him in a cot suspended from the apple-laden branches of [...]

  • CCA Film Nominations

    Critics' Choice: 'The Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Lead Movie Nominations

    “The Irishman” has picked up the most film nominations for the 35th annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The Martin Scorsese gangster drama goes into the awards show with 14 noms, including best picture, director, acting ensemble as well as best actor (Robert De Niro) and supporting actor (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci), the Critics’ Choice Association [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' Named Best Film of 2019 by L.A. Film Critics Association

    Members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. met Sunday to vote on the year’s best cinema accomplishments. “Parasite” fared the best, taking not only best picture, but also the group’s director prize for Bong Joon Ho and supporting actor for Song Kang Ho. Unlike most voting groups, LAFCA also announces the runner-up for each [...]

  • Jumanji The Next Level

    Box Office: 'Jumanji 2' Kicks Off Overseas With $52 Million as 'Frozen 2' Powers Toward $1 Billion

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” skated past international box office competition again as the animated sequel propels toward the billion-dollar mark globally. “Frozen 2” generated another $90 million from 48 foreign territories, boosting its worldwide weekend haul to $124.9 million. After three weekends in theaters, Disney’s musical follow-up has made $919.7 million and should cross $1 billion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content