Oscar Watch: Hustlers

I didn’t assume I’d be writing an Oscar Watch post for Hustlers, but it’s emerged out of Toronto with that distinct possibility in one category. Based on a 2015 New York magazine piece about a group of strippers who embezzle money from Wall Street types, the dramedy from director Lorene Scafaria is being called a wildly entertaining crowd pleaser.

Hustlers debuts next weekend and the critical reaction points to potent box office returns. Constance Wu of Crazy Rich Asians gets top billing, but it’s Jennifer Lopez who’s said to steal the show. I wouldn’t be surprised to see STXfilms mount a serious campaign for her in Supporting Actress.

The actress and singer has never been nominated for an Academy Award. Early in her career, she received raves for Selena and Out of Sight. Hollywood loves a big comeback role and Hustlers could fit the bill for voters to solidify it. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Hustlers Box Office Prediction

A group of actresses, many also known for their musical talents, play exotic dancers who take on wealthy Wall Street men in the dramedy Hustlers next weekend. Lorene Scafaria directs a cast led by Constance Wu (in his first big film role since breakout Crazy Rich Asians), Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Julia Stiles, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, and Lizzo.

Based on a 2015 New York magazine article, Hustlers looks to tap into an often undeserved audience of minorities and women. It could be well positioned to do so. Wu and Lopez have their followers and I certainly wouldn’t underestimate the participation of Cardi B and Lizzo, who have consistently been producing Top 40 hits over the past few months.

The budget for the pic is reported to be between $20-$30 million and I believe that’s where the opening weekend should fall. If Hustlers tops $23 million, it would give Lopez her largest life action start ever (ahead of 2005’s MonsterinLaw). I’ll say it does and that would give it an impressive #2 debut behind the second frame of It Chapter Two.

Hustlers opening weekend prediction: $31.5 million

For my The Goldfinch prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/09/05/the-goldfinch-box-office-prediction/