Box Office: “Hitman” hits, “Logan” not lucky at all

boxIt’s not a blockbuster, by any means. But package two fan favorites — professional smartasses associated with Marvel franchises — in a sass-off/shoot-out action comedy and you might have a hit.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is number one with a bullet, a bullseye with a big bodycount, churning toward a $21 million weekend, based on late previews Thursday and a big Friday. $21 million+, per deadline.com. 

Nick Fury and Deadpool, aka Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, turn out to be a winning formula in these dying days of the generally underwhelming summer of ’17.

Much has been made about Steven Soderbergh’s inventive financing and marketing for “Logan Lucky,” a movie his script has a character dismiss as “Ocean’s 7-11.”

It was going to break out in “the flyover states” of “NASCAR country,” with its “Let’s rob Charlotte Motor Speedway” plot and “Magic Mike meets James Bond” casting.

Cluelessly upbeat reviews missed the same thing that Soderbergh (a Georgia native who should know better) and his generally alien-to-the-South cast did. I’ve rarely felt more disconnected from the critical community than with this one. But I knew what they seemed to have missed. The “hicks” in the “sticks” don’t like to be caricatured. Nobody does. NASCAR cooperation or not, this isn’t as funny as SS thought. So no “flyover money” for you. $7.2 million is below even the lowballed opening weekend estimates. Soderbergh’s marketing went bust.

“Annabelle: Creation” did another $14, “Dunkirk” is besting “Logan Lucky” in its FIFTH week of release — close to $8.

“Wind River” opened wider and is in the low $3 million range.

“Valerian” and “Wonder Woman” lost most of their theaters and join “Apes” and “Baby Driver” in the “made all we’re going to make” category.

“Spider-Man” is still selling tickets, as is “Emoji Movie,” but “Dark Tower” is fading out, and “Glass Castle” drops out of the top ten on its second weekend of release.

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