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Warner Bros.’ horror sequel It: Chapter Two won the box office for the second weekend in a row with $40.7 million, but it’s STXfilms’ crime thriller Hustlers that’s making headlines. The Jennifer Lopez-fronted true-story drama pulled in a whopping $33.2 million, bolstered by strong reviews and buzz out of the film’s Toronto International Film Festival debut an talk of Oscar recognition for Lopez’s best performance since Out of Sight. The movie—which tells the story of how a group of strippers altered their practices in the wake of the 2008 financial crash to continue making money—is more Goodfellas than Magic Mike XXL (which could account for the surprising B- CinemaScore), but it’s a terrifically well-acted and impressively directed piece of mass entertainment courtesy of Lorene Scafaria.
Hustlers scored the biggest opening weekend in STX Entertainment history, which is fortuitous considering the film began as an Annapurna Pictures project before being dropped over budget concerns. It’s a triumphant success any way you slice it, and it’s one of those box office victories you take delight in because the movie...
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