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‘Hitman’ bumps off ‘Logan’ to claim box-office lead

LOS ANGELES: Two new movies — “The Hitman Bodyguard” and “Logan Lucky” — soared to the top three in North American theaters this weekend, with “Logan” scoring well with critics, but “Hitman” far luckier in ticket sales.

Lionsgate´s “Hitman” pulled in an estimated $21.6 million to lead the three-day weekend, according to industry website Exhibitor Relations. That was considered a respectable take on what has been the lowest-grossing weekend of the year.

The film tells the story of a famous bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) hired to protect a notorious hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) who is about to testify in a high-profile trial.

Salma Hayek, as Jackson´s formidable wife, adds to the movie´s star power, but critics gave it an unimpressive 39 percent rating on RottenTomatoes.com.

Steven Soderbergh´s “Logan” came in third in its first week out — after Warner Bros.´s “Annabelle: Creation” — but with ticket sales of just $8.1 million.

Critics, however, loved Soderbergh´s first film since his self-proclaimed retirement four years ago, giving it a 93 percent rating.

The Bleecker Street production stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough in an unconventional heist comedy, with a sort of dysfunctional “Oceans 11”-style team planning a huge robbery at a NASCAR race.

The relatively low-budget “Annabelle” continued to pull in viewers, slipping slightly from last week´s No. 1 opening to take in $15.5 million.

The horror flick, starring Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Miranda Otto and Anthony LaPaglia, is part of the “Conjuring” franchise, which has now grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

Warner Bros.´s war film “Dunkirk” remained a strong performer, placing fourth with sales of $6.7 million. Starring One Direction singer Harry Styles, the movie depicts the heroic 1940 evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from northern France.

And in fifth place was “Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” from Open Road Films, with sales of $5.1 million. The animated adventure tells the story of a group of animals trying to save their home from the bulldozer.

Overall, it has been a tough season for the studios: summer ticket sales are about 13 percent behind last summer, according to ComScore.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“The Emoji Movie” ($4.4 million)

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” ($4.3 million)

“Girls Trip” ($3.8 million)

“The Dark Tower” ($3.7 million)

“Wind River” ($3 million)

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Azhar Hashmi

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