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The Hitman's Bodyguard slays Logan Lucky in race to US top spot

Story by Jack Foley

ACTION comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard has shot its way to the top of the US box office with a better-than-expected $21.6 million.

In doing so, it beat Steven Soderbergh’s return to cinema, Logan Lucky, which placed third with an estimated $8.1 million to deliver the second lowest nationwide start of the filmmaker’s career behind the 2002 space odyssey Solaris ($6.7 million) and the lowest when adjusting for inflation.

The win for The Hitman’s Bodyguard came in spite of the critical drubbing it received. But it doubtless benefited from the box office power of leading men Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson. The film tells the story of a world-renowned bodyguard (Reynolds) who must protect an infamous hitman (Jackson) who is scheduled to testify against a dictator.

Logan Lucky, on the other hand, went into the weekend off the back of rave reviews and didn’t lack star power of its own – with Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig among the film’s ensemble.

Soderbergh made the $29 million heist comedy outside the Hollywood studio system by relying on a combination of foreign pre-sales and equity, while raising another $20 million for marketing in order to retain tight control of how the movie pic was sold.

It follows two brothers (played Tatum and Driver) as they attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina with the help of an incarcerated career criminal named Joe Bang (Craig).

Of the holdovers, horror hit Annabelle: Creation enjoyed a strong sophomore week, placing second with $15.5 million for a US total of $64 million. Overseas, Annabelle 2 conjured up $42 million from 56 markets for a global haul to date of $160.7 million.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is also still going strong, placing fourth with $6.7 million for a US total of $165.5 million and a global haul of $392.7 million.

While rounding out the top five was animated The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which fell to No. 5 in its second outing, earning $5.1 million for a 10-day US total of $17.7 million

Of the weekend box office milestones worth noting, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman cleared the $800 million mark at the global box office, including $404 million in the US.

Next story: Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off in the works