How much cash would moviegoers throw toward a show starring strippers played by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Cardi B and Lizzo? Ahead of the upcoming debut of Hustlers, which comes to theaters this weekend, between $25 to $30 million looks to be the running number â€“ and a satisfying one at that for indie studio STX Films.
Hustlers premiered at Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend to rave reviews from critics, raising its projected opening weekend to an impressive start. If the female-led heist drama crosses $25 million, it will become Jennifer Lopezâ€™s highest live-action debut and the studioâ€™s highest-grossing opener, per Deadline.
Jennifer Lopezâ€™s highest-grossing non-animation movie was 2005â€™s Monsters-In-Law, which made $23.1 million on its opening weekend and ended its run with a $154.7 million haul. Her last big-screen appearance in 2018â€™s Second Act opened at No. 7 with $6.4 million. Hustlers is a different story; itâ€™s an ensemble flick packed with empowering female talent (including writer/director Lorene Scafaria at the helm) that is swimming in good buzz, including Oscar talk.
Hustlers is based on a New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler called â€œthe Hustlers at Scoresâ€� about a group of strippers who give Wall Street male clients a run for their money at the height of the recession. The movie has earned a 91% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes after almost 50 reviews, with many calling Lopezâ€™s performance her best since 1998â€™s Out of Sight.
These opening numbers would be a step up for STX Entertainment after this summerâ€™s UglyDolls, which bombed with an overall worldwide gross of $27 million on a $45 million production budget. STX Films began the year on a high note with its first No. 1 movie, The Upside, which made $122.7 globally. If Hustlers hits $25 million, it will beat out the Kevin Hart drama opening of $20.3 million and the studioâ€™s best, Bad Momâ€™s $23.7 million.
However, Hustlers isnâ€™t expected to dance for as much cash as Pennywise in his second weekend at the box office. IT Chapter Two is projected to keep its No. 1 spot with $36 million â€“ a 60% drop from its $91 million debut, much lower than its predecessorâ€™s numbers. 2017â€™s It saw about a 50% drop to $60 million after a record-breaking $123 million September opening.
Another TIFF film will open in theaters along with Hustlers this weekend, The Goldfinch. The drama based on the best-selling novel and starring Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson and Jeffrey Wright hasnâ€™t seen the same enthusiasm from critics. CinemaBlendâ€™s own Corey Chichizola gave Goldfinch 2.5 stars out of 5 in his review.
Hustlers hits theaters this Friday, September 13. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments below!