“Hustlers” is a hit. Last night (and including $2 million of Thursday previews) the comedy-drama took in $13 million. That’s biggest opening ever for Jennifer Lopez, with more than $30 million for the weekend expected.
Jennifer Lopez’s prior biggest opening weekend was way back in 2005, for “Monster-in-Law,” in which she played Jane Fonda’s daughter-in-law to be. That number was $23.1 million for the weekend. It was also her highest grossing film, with $82 million. She’s never appeared in a live action film that’s made more than that.
Lopez has had bigger openings since then, but they were animated films in which she was part of an ensemble. Right before she starred in “Monster-in-Law,” JLo starred with then boyfriend Ben Affleck in “Gigli,” infamously one of the worst and most-mocked movies of all time.
“Hustlers” will change a lot about JLo’s film career, at least for the near future. Its relative success will breed at least one sequel, even though the true story of strippers drugging and bilking Wall Streeters stopped with the end of that movie. You know somehow those characters will make a return trip to the screen. In the meantime, her stock goes up and she’ll get at least a Golden Globe nomination (not so sure about an Oscar).