Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2017
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For the third consecutive weekend "The Hitman’s Bodyguard" was the top film in North American box offices, but the cinematic scene remained deep in the summer doldrums, website Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

The US Labor Day weekend was shaping up to be the worst in 17 years, industry watchers said, noting the lack of any major new releases. But Lionsgate's "Hitman" managed to take in an estimated $10.3 million(R133.33 million) for the Friday-to-Sunday period, the only movie this summer to cling to the top for three straight weeks. 

The action comedy, starring Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard protecting a notorious hitman (Samuel L. Jackson), outperformed Warner Bros.'s horror film "Annabelle: Creation" for the second straight week.

"Annabelle," part of the popular "Conjuring" franchise of movies, took in $7.3 million, giving it a shot at passing the $100 million mark domestically, website boxofficemojo said.

Crime thriller "Wind River" from Weinstein Co. came in third, taking in an estimated $5.9 million, up from the previous week's $4.4 million. It stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as federal agents trying to solve a murder on an Indian reservation.

In fourth, also from the Weinstein brothers, was the animated family picture "Leap!" about a young orphan, voiced by Elle Fanning, who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer in 19th century Paris. It netted $4.9 million.

Staying steady at fifth was Steven Soderbergh's droll action film "Logan Lucky," which for the second straight week netted $4.4 million. It stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough in an unconventional heist comedy set at a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Dunkirk" ($4.1 million)

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" ($3.7 million)

"The Emoji Movie" ($2.5 million)

"Despicable Me 3" ($2.4 million)

"Girls Trip" ($2.3 million)

Two new movies, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Logan Lucky", soared to the top three in North American theaters this weekend, with "Logan" scoring well with critics, but "Hitman" far luckier in ticket sales.

Lionsgate's "Hitman" pulled in an estimated $21.6 million to lead the three-day weekend, according to industry website Exhibitor Relations. That was considered a respectable take on what has been the lowest-grossing weekend of the year.

The film tells the story of a famous bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) hired to protect a notorious hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) who is about to testify in a high-profile trial.

Salma Hayek, as Jackson's formidable wife, adds to the movie's star power, but critics gave it an unimpressive 39 percent rating on RottenTomatoes.com.

Steven Soderbergh's "Logan" came in third in its first week out, after Warner Bros.'s "Annabelle: Creation", but with ticket sales of just $8.1 million.

Critics, however, loved Soderbergh's first film since his self-proclaimed retirement four years ago, giving it a 93 percent rating.

The Bleecker Street production stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough in an unconventional heist comedy, with a sort of dysfunctional "Oceans 11"-style team planning a huge robbery at a NASCAR race.

The relatively low-budget "Annabelle" continued to pull in viewers, slipping slightly from last week's No. 1 opening to take in $15.5 million.

The horror flick, starring Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Miranda Otto and Anthony LaPaglia, is part of the "Conjuring" franchise, which has now grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

Warner Bros.'s war film "Dunkirk" remained a strong performer, placing fourth with sales of $6.7 million. Starring One Direction singer Harry Styles, the movie depicts the heroic 1940 evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from northern France.

And in fifth place was "Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" from Open Road Films, with sales of $5.1 million. The animated adventure tells the story of a group of animals trying to save their home from the bulldozer.

Overall, it has been a tough season for the studios: summer ticket sales are about 13 percent behind last summer, according to ComScore.

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