LOS ANGELES – 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.

RYAN REYNOLDS and Samuel L. Jackson star in The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Lionsgate’s Hitman pulled in an estimated $21.6 million to lead the three-day weekend, according to industry Web site 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% 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% 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. 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% behind last summer, according to ComScore.

Rounding out the top 10 were: The Emoji Movie ($4.4 million); Spider-Man: Homecoming ($4.3 million); Girls Trip ($3.8 million); The Dark Tower ($3.7 million); and, Wind River ($3 million). – AFP