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‘Hustlers’ With Jennifer Lopez Scores $2.5 Million at Thursday Box Office

STX crime movie opens against ”The Goldfinch“ and ”It Chapter Two“ in its second week

“Hustlers,” the crime film based on a true story and starring Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, earned $2.5 million at the box office Thursday in previews. It opens on 3,250 screens this weekend.

“Hustlers” comes from STX, and the film’s cast of pop stars and strong reviews and word of mouth out of the Toronto International Film Festival hope to boost the film to be the largest opening in STX’s history. However, it has to contend with Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Goldfinch” and “It Chapter Two” as it heads into a massive second weekend.

The studio is projecting “Hustlers” to open in the mid-$20 million range, with independent trackers saying it could land between $25-28 million against an approximately $20 million budget. The hope is that it can topple STX’s highest opening to date, “Bad Moms,” which opened in July 2016 to $23.8 million after grossing $2 million in its Thursday previews. For another comp, Universal’s “Good Trip” surprised with its female-led cast and made $31.2 million after grossing $1.7 million in Thursday night previews.

“Hustlers” is based on a New York Magazine article called “The Hustlers at Scores” that follows a crew of former strip club employees who manage to swindle a big pay day out of their Wall Street clientele. Wu and Jennifer Lopez star with Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Mercedes Ruehl and Cardi B, as well as an ensemble cast that also includes Lizzo, Mette Towley, Madeline Brewer and Trace Lysette. Lorene Scafaria wrote and directed the film, and it’s produced by Jessica Elbaum, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Also releasing this weekend is Warner Bros.’ “The Goldfinch,” which is projected for an opening between $9-10 million.

“The Goldfinch” is based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young man named Theo who lost his mom during a terrorist attack on a museum when he was just a boy and who now harbors a secret about one of the classic paintings housed in the museum.

John Crowley (“Brooklyn”) directed the drama that made its premiere at TIFF and that stars Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson and Jeffrey Wright. Critics have panned the film with just a 26% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“It Chapter Two” made another $4 million at the box office on Thursday, bringing its cumulative domestic total for its first week to $113 million.