Jennifer Lopez is proving the hustle is worth the effort…
The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar’s latest film Hustlers earned a stellar $33.2 million-plus from 3,250 theaters at the U.S. box office, the best start ever for STXfilms and the best live-action opening of J.Lo‘s career, according to early returns.
The female-led ensemble film came in a strong second behind New Line and Warner Bros.’ holdover It: Chapter Two, which earned $40.7 million in its sophomore outing.
Hustlers — buoyed by a diverse audience — is based on real-life events chronicled in a 2015 New York magazine story and stars Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B and more as strippers who lead a band of dancers in a plot to drug and steal from their Wall Street clientele in Recession-era New York City.
Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Lizzo also star in the film from writer-director Lorene Scafaria, which earned rave reviews out of its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
Hustlers cost a reported $20 million to make before marketing and is a much-needed win for STX (the indie studio’s previous biggest opening was Bad Moms with $23.8 million, not adjusted for inflation).
Females made up 67 percent of Hustlers‘ audience, while Caucasians represented 36 percent of ticket buyers, followed by African Americans (26 percent), Hispanics (27 percent) and Asians/Other (11 percent).