Monday, September 16, 2019

Monday's Headlines | Weekend Box Office

Warner Bros.’ horror sequel It: Chapter Two won the box office for the second weekend in a row with $40.7 million, but it’s STXfilms’ crime thriller Hustlers that’s making headlines. The Jennifer Lopez-fronted true-story drama pulled in a whopping $33.2 million, bolstered by strong reviews and buzz out of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival debut an talk of Oscar recognition for Lopez’s best performance since Out of Sight. 

The movie—which tells the story of how a group of strippers altered their practices in the wake of the 2008 financial crash to continue making money—is more Goodfellas than Magic Mike XXL (which could account for the surprising B- CinemaScore), but it’s a terrifically well-acted and impressively directed piece of mass entertainment courtesy of Lorene Scafaria.

Hustlers scored the biggest opening weekend in STX Entertainment history, which is fortuitous considering the film began as an Annapurna Pictures project before being dropped over budget concerns. It’s a triumphant success any way you slice it, and it’s one of those box office victories you take delight in because the movie really is that good.

It: Chapter Two, meanwhile, fell 55% from its $91 million opening weekend, which itself was a bit below expectations. No matter, the It franchise as a whole has now grossed over $1 billion worldwide, and the worldwide total of Chapter Two stands at over $320 million. While the sequel puts a period on the end of the Stephen King adaptation, don’t be surprised if Warner Bros. finds a way to extend this franchise further.

The other big box office story this weekend is The Goldfinch, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last week and was roundly panned. The adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book stars Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, and Finn Wolfhard, but the movie absolutely bombed with a shocking $2.6 million for the weekend. That’s an out and out disaster for Warner Bros., which is no doubt happy It: Chapter Two is doing so well and that they’ve got Joker on the horizon.