Jennifer Lopez earns career-high opening with Hustlers

Hustlers came in at second place in the North American rankings, grossing $33.2 million (£26.6 million).

Jennifer Lopez has earned the best box office opening of her career with new movie Hustlers.

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the crime-drama is inspired by a New York Magazine article published in 2015 by Jessica Pressler, with the plot following a savvy group of strippers who band together to scam money out of the wealthy men who visit their club.

Lopez has won rave reviews for her performance as experienced stripper Ramona, who mentors the naive Dorothy (Constance Wu), and it was announced on Sunday that the film has exceeded expectations at the North American box office following its release on Friday.

Hustlers came in at second place in the rankings, raking in $33.2 million (£26.6 million) in the U.S. and Canada, and $4.46 million (£3.5 million) in other territories, including the U.K.

Accordingly, the film marks the largest box office taking for one of Lopez's live-action films, exceeding the $23.1 million (£18.6 million) her flick Monster-in-Law, also starring Jane Fonda, made when it opened in May 2005. Hustlers is also a box office hit for studio STXfilms, with the movie surpassing the $23.8 million (£19 million) Bad Moms collected in 2016.

It Chapter Two took the number one spot at the box office for a second week in a row. The horror movie sequel, starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, hauled in $40.7 million (£32.6 million) over the weekend, giving the film a $323.3 million (£252.2 million) 10-day worldwide total. Angel Has Fallen landed in third place with $4.4 million (£3.5 million), while Good Boys and The Lion King closed out the top five.

In light of the positive critical response to Hustlers, Lopez took to her YouTube channel to post a video in which she appeared to be moved by the reaction.

"I have been doing this too damn long to have any expectations. You know what I mean?" the 50-year-old admitted. "I just do my best. I work as hard as I f**king can to just like make it epic, but then the rest is up to God, timing, people."

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