'Hitman' bumps off 'Logan' to claim box-office lead

US actor Samuel L Jackson (L) drives a boat on the canals of Amsterdam during the filming of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" on July 7, 2016

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

Lionsgate's "Hitman" pulled in $21.4 million to lead the weekend, according to industry monitor Exhibitor Relations. That was considered a respectable take on 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 approval 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 $7.6 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 $15.6 million.

The horror movie, 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 $6.6 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.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"The Emoji Movie" ($4.4 million)

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" ($4.3 million)

"Girls Trip" ($3.9 million)

"The Dark Tower" ($3.8 million)

"Wind River" ($3 million)