The R-rated action comedy Hitman's Bodyguard fired through its opening weekend with a $21.6 million debut, nabbing the top slot at the box office.
With leads like mega-stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek, the film surpassed its closest competition, horror film Annabelle: Creation, which earned $15.5 million. It also outdid its comedic rival, Logan Lucky, which earned $8 million in its opening weekend.
While Hitman's Bodyguard received mixed reviews by critics, its star power likely drew audiences this weekend — which was a slow one for the summer without any blockbuster competition in theaters. The film follows one of the world's top bodyguards (Reynolds) as he is forced to protect his enemy, a notorious hitman (Jackson).
The film received a lackluster 38% on Rotten Tomatoes — but audiences appeared to enjoy it more than critics, giving it a 75% rating on the site.
The latest in the Conjuring world from Warner Bros., Annabelle's box office earnings this week dropped 56% from its debut weekend of $35 million.
Logan Lucky, which stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough, earned better reviews than Hitman's Bodyguard (with 93% on Rotten Tomatoes). Variety attributes the film's slow start with "an unconventional production and marketing strategy" from the film's director Steven Soderbergh, who released the film through indie distributor Bleecker Street.
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and Open road's The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, filled out the top five, earning $6.7 million and $5.1 million over the weekend, respectively.