‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ takes US box office top spot from ‘A Quiet Place 2’

Starring Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ is one of the rare post-vaccine era movies to play exclusively in theatres. — Screen capture via YouTube/Lionsgate Movies
Starring Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ is one of the rare post-vaccine era movies to play exclusively in theatres. — Screen capture via YouTube/Lionsgate Movies

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LOS ANGELES, June 21 — The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard nabbed the top spot on box office charts, debuting with US$11.6 million (RMM48 million) from 3,331 US venues over the weekend.

The Lionsgate movie, a sequel to the 2017 action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, opened on the big screen on Wednesday and has collected US$17 million to date. However, the film cost nearly US$70 million to produce so it could face challenges turning a profit in theatres.

Starring Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is one of the rare post-vaccine era movies to play exclusively in theatres. Opening weekend crowds were mostly older men, with 55 per cent of ticket buyers identifying as male and 66 per cent over the age of 25.

As the only new nationwide release, the poorly reviewed The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard didn’t have much competition to claim No. 1 in North America. Falling not far behind, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II slid to second place with US$9.4 million in ticket sales, representing a mere 22 per cent drop from the weekend prior. After four weeks in theatres, the film — directed by John Krasinski and featuring Emily Blunt — has generated a strong US$125 million to date.

Elsewhere on box office charts, In the Heights, director Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical, failed to sustain crowds in its second weekend of release. The acclaimed film fell to the No. 6 spot with US$4.3 million in revenues, a brutal 62 per cent decline from its inaugural outing. In the Heights, which is currently playing on HBO Max, has amassed US$19.8 million on the big screen to date. At this rate, the US$55 million-budgeted movie will struggle to climb out of the red.

In third place, Sony’s family film Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway collected US$6.1 million in its sophomore frame, bringing its domestic tally to US$20.3 million through yesterday. The film has done notably better business overseas, with ticket sales hovering at US$70.5 million.

The Warner Bros. horror movie The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella will duke it out for fourth and fifth place once final figures are tallied today. According to Sunday estimates, both films brought in US$5.1 million over the weekend. The former, which is being offered on HBO Max, has pulled in US$53.5 million at the US box office. The Emma Stone-led Cruella, which is available on Disney Plus for a premium US$30 rental fee, has made US$64.7 million in the US and US$95.2 million overseas.

In a box office milestone, Godzilla vs Kong became the second Covid-era release to cross the US$100 million mark at the domestic box office. It took the monster mashup over a month and a half to surpass that milestone. Overseas, the movie has taken in US$342 million for a global haul of US$442 million.

Meanwhile, indie films without blockbuster-level promotional efforts haven’t been attracting notable audiences. Among limited releases, Edgar Wright’s music documentary The Sparks Brothers, from Focus Features, premiered in 534 locations and brought in US$265,000 — translating to a tepid US$489 per location. The similarly well-reviewed Roadside Attractions doc Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It pulled in US$75,715 from 227 screens for a weak US$334 per-screen average.

As the box office attempts to rebound from a tough 18-month period, Universal’s Fast and Furious sequel F9 is expected to provide a much-needed shot in the arm to theatre operators. Already, the high-octane tentpole is nearing the US$300 million mark internationally with ticket sales currently at US$292 million. — Variety.com via Reuters

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