‘Hustlers’ Has a Strong Opening at the Box Office

A comedy about strippers who illegally relieve Wall Street men of their money made a killing this weekend — no criminal scheming needed.

“Hustlers,” from STX Films, opened to around $33.2 million in domestic ticket sales between Friday and Sunday, outpacing expectations. The success comes on the heels of an aggressive marketing campaign, strong reviews (it currently holds an 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and early rumblings that this movie might net a first Oscar nomination for Jennifer Lopez, one of its stars.

Based on a 2015 New York Magazine article and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the movie centers on a young woman played by Constance Wu, who starts working at a Manhattan strip club, where she goes by Destiny. There she meets Ramona (Lopez), a veteran dancer who brings Destiny into a scheme that involves luring wealthy men into the club and, with the help of cocktails and eventually drugs, hijacking their credit cards. The cast also includes Cardi B and the rapper and singer Lizzo, whose added star power couldn’t have hurt ticket sales.

[Read our critic’s review of “Hustlers.”]

For all their success, the strippers of “Hustlers” came in second place at the box office, behind another, more sinister entertainer: Pennywise the killer clown, who continues to haunt theaters in “It Chapter Two.”

The Stephen King adaptation from Warner Bros. finished its second weekend with around $40.7 million in sales. “It Chapter Two,” a follow-up to “It” (2017), made an additional $47 million overseas this weekend, according to the studio, bringing its global cumulative tally to about $323.3 million.

The success softens the fact that Warner Bros. was also behind this weekend’s biggest box-office stumble: “The Goldfinch,” which opened to about $2.6 million according to Comscore, which compiles box office data. It is a paltry amount given the movie’s considerable assets: It is an adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning best seller by Donna Tartt; it is the director John Crowley’s follow up to his critically acclaimed “Brooklyn”; and it stars Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort.

“The Goldfinch” and “Hustlers” were also the only major newcomers this weekend, which should have left “The Goldfinch” with some room to spread its wings. But it seems that the movie, with a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 24 percent, wasn’t able to overcome poor reviews.

More on this week’s movies
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