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The Hitman's Bodyguard tops slowest US box office weekend in almost 16 years

Story by Jack Foley

ACTION-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard has remained on top of the US box office in what has turned out to be one of the slowest weekends in terms of revenue for 16 years.

The disappointing box office is attributable to three factors: primarily, a lack of product but also Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match, which proved something of a distraction, as well as Hurricane Harvey, which forced cinema closures in numerous Texas markets, including Houston.

But the weekend take of an estimated $65 million is still the worst showing since the September 21-23 weekend in 2001, and a whopping 45% down on the same weekend last year.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, won the weekend with $10 million in its second outing for a US total of $39.6 million – a decent return for a film that received something of a critical pasting.

But horror movie Annabelle: Creation fared little better, amassing $7.4 million for a total US take to date of $77.9 million.

Of the weekend’s new releases, animated family film Leap! fared best, grossing an estimated $5 million for a third-place finish.

The film tells the story of an 11-year-old orphan (voiced by Elle Fanning) who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, and who subsequently teams up with a young inventor named Victor. Together, they pursue their passions in 19th Century Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is still under construction.

Fourth spot went to crime drama Wind River, which hit $4.4 million for a US total of $9.8 million. The film, from Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan, stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as two law officials who unite to solve a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Steven Soderbergh’s return to the big screen, Logan Lucky, rounded out the top five with $4.4 million for a US haul of $15 million – another disappointing return for a film that has enjoyed strong critical acclaim.

Of the other box office contenders going into the weekend, George Nolfi’s Birth of the Dragon opened in eighth place with $2.6 million. The film offers a fictionalised account of when Bruce Lee challenged kung fu master Wong Jack Man to a fight in the mid-1960s in San Francisco.

The aforementioned Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor McGregor fight came in ninth, after being beamed live into 481 cinemas – therefore boasting a screen average of $4,990 — the best of any film in the top 10.

Next story: Matt Reeves moves to allay fears over The Batman’s place in DC universe