Hitman's Bodyguard Exceeds Expectations
By Kim Hollis
August 20, 2017
It could have been so much worse.
Our two new wide releases this weekend included The Hitman's Bodyguard and Logan Lucky, and there was no reason to think either one of them would provide much intrigue at the box office. Instead, thanks to some canny marketing and an interesting pair of actors coming together, at least one of them came in well ahead of what tracking had indicated it would make.
Yes, The Hitman's Bodyguard is our #1 film at the box office this weekend, despite industry predictions of a debut in only the mid-teens. Instead, the Lionsgate feature got started with $21.6 million, a really solid first weekend compared to its overall lean budget of $29 million. Most of that budget likely went to the salaries of stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, two of the stars of the Marvel Universe.
The Hitman's Bodyguard actually overcame somewhat mediocre reviews to achieve its weekend in the sun. At Rotten Tomatoes, The Hitman's Bodyguard has a fresh rating of just 38%, and only 27% from top critics. Its Cinemascore, on the other hand, was a B+, so clearly audiences at least found a little something to like. Ads that were running on ESPN made it feel like a must-see, so it clearly connected with its intended audience. Considering the films due for release in the coming two weeks, it will probably hang around as one of the few decent options.
That puts last weekend's winner Annabelle: Creation down to second place, no surprise given the genre. Annabelle 2 declined 56% from its debut weekend total down to $15.5 million. Honestly, horror films actually can see much steeper drops in weekend two, so this hold is a welcome relief for Warner Bros. So far, Annabelle: Creation has earned $64 million domestically, and has a super-strong international tally of $96 million. The first Annabelle had a worldwide total of $256 million, so Annabelle: Creation is already well on its way to at least matching that number.
Third place goes to Logan Lucky, director Steven Soderbergh's return from retirement. Let's be clear that Logan Lucky was never really intended to be a big box office performer. Soderbergh doesn't usually bring those kind of results outside of the Ocean's 11 series. Still with an $8.1 million weekend, Logan Lucky should at least bring in enough dough to make its $29 million budget investment seem worthwhile. The film had a 93% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes but only a B Cinemascore, which is kind of a typical result for Soderbergh. Critics often love him, while audiences find him befuddling. Daniel Craig' and Salma Hayek's presence may at least make for some decent international box office.
Now in its fourth weekend, Dunkirk falls to fourth place as it earns $6.7 million. Christopher Nolan's latest masterpiece is the early leader in the clubhouse for Oscar, though that can obviously change as the prestige films start opening in the fall. Dunkirk has now earned $165.5 million domestically and $227 million internationally. It was down 38% for the weekend, but still has some gas left in the tank since there is really no competition worth considering in the coming weeks.