People Still Love Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck — even when he’s not attached to a DC franchise, and even when he stars in a bad movie (that was nevertheless enjoyable) — still has some box-office prowess. Over the course of the decade, Affleck has staked his claim on the early fall with The Town, Argo, Gone Girl and now The Accountant, which racked up nearly $25 million over the weekend. That number was well ahead of expectations, despite mixed-to-bad reviews for the film.
It also more than doubled the number two film for the weekend, Kevin Hart’s stand-up concert film, What Now?. I saw it over the weekend, but it’s a hard one to review, other than to say: The framing device was terrible (a Bond spoof), and the stand-up was hit and miss, but the hits were hysterical. I don’t like most Kevin Hart movies, but I have yet to be disappointed in one of his concert films.
I haven’t been keeping up with the box-office this fall because of the election coverage, but if you’re curious, Tim Burton has a hit on his hands with Miss Peregrine, which has racked up $200 million worldwide so far (on a $110 million budget); Girl on a Train is performing modestly well (and like The Accountant, it’s bad, but fitfully enjoyable); Peter Berg’s $110 million Deepwater Horizon, which I sort of liked, is underperforming ($77 million worldwide, so far); Storks is keeping the kids entertained (and it’s very funny); The Magnificent Seven probably isn’t the hit its studio was hoping for, nor the thrilling Western I was hoping for ($150 million on a $90 million budget); Sully is the fall’s biggest hit ($175 million, so far, on a $60 million budget); and Birth of a Nation, at $12 million, hasn’t yet earned back what Fox Searchlight paid to secure distribution rights ($19 million). I think Nate Parker helped to tank his own movie.
There have also been a few bombs this fall. Snowden has only made $20 million on a $40 million budget; Max Steel opened this weekend on 2000 theaters and made only $2 million; Blair With will be profitable ($40 million on a $5 million budget) but well short of what Lionsgate was hoping for; and Masterminds, with Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis, has completely struck out, earning only $16 million (it’s very, very bad).