Weekend Box Office: Ben Affleck’s Murderous Accountant Movie Is Number One

The Accountant
was a preposterous Asploitation film that delivered exactly what it promised, and audiences responded, grossing a strong $24.7 million in the US to take the number one spot this weekend. With a $44 million budget, The Accountant‘s opening is similar to Girl On The Train‘s $24.5 million on a $45 million budget last weekend. That one was also preposterous, though not in a good way, and audiences gave it a B- Cinemascore compared to The Accountant‘s A-.

That could become an important distinction as Girl On The Train fell a relatively steep 51.2% this weekend. You’d expect The Accountant to hold better based on word of mouth, but it’s also competing against Jack Reacher: Never Stop Reaching, starring Tom Cruise punching through car windows with his lil’ grape-sized fists next weekend, which could cut into The Accountant‘s take. Incidentally, both rated similarly on RottenTomatoes — 51% for The Accountant, 44% for Girl On The Train, respectively. It’s also worth pointing out that while The Girl On The Train was based on a bestselling book franchise, The Accountant was not based on anything, and its opening was actually the fourth-highest opening for “not-based-on-anything” live-action release of the year.

Down at number two was Kevin Hart’s Kevin Hart: What Now?, which grossed an estimated $11.9 million domestic, just a shade ahead of Girl On the Train. That one was basically a concert film, I guess? Like sketches mixed with stand up? And somehow that cost $9.9 million to make. Anyway, it earned out, like everything Kevin Hart touches. Pretty soon they’re just going to film Kevin Hart getting his groceries. I don’t really understand him as a huge draw, but he seems nice enough so good for him.

If The Birth Of A Nation was hoping to bounce back from its weakish opening it didn’t happen, falling a steep 61.2% down to 10th place this weekend. These kinds of movies tend to live and die on buzz and awards chances, and those seemed to die with the media storm over Nate Parker’s rape acquittal, fair or not. Personally, I thought the movie was kind of corny anyway.

But even that outgrossed Max Steel, which landed outside the top 10 with $2.1 million, the 13th worst opening for a film opening in more than 2,000 theaters. If you never heard about that one, you’re not alone, and there’s a reason for that. It was finished in 2014 and it sounds like the studio tried to cut their losses.

Mattel wanted to do it backward, using a hit movie to make the brand popular again. The original scheme was to make a film in 2009 with then-hot Taylor Lautner, who eventually left the project to make the eventually canceled Stretch Armstrong movie. Seven years later, the Max Steel movie limped into theaters with no stars, a muted marketing campaign, and a deluge of opening-day critical pans. [Forbes]

Oh man, remember when Taylor Lautner was considered a potential action star? The aughts were so stupid. Considering he’s basically a male Jessica Alba I’m actually surprised he’s not in more stuff.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week. Next week brings us Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Boo! A Madea Halloween, Keeping Up With The Joneses, And Ouija: Origin Of Evil.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Accountant $24,715,000 $7,417 $24,715,000
2 Kevin Hart: What Now? $11,984,000 $4,669 $11,984,000
3 The Girl on the Train $11,974,000 (-51.2) $3,695 $46,558,000
4 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children $8,900,000 (-41.2) $2,321 $65,832,000
5 Deepwater Horizon $6,350,000 (-44.9) $1,866 $49,335,000
6 Storks $5,600,000 (-32.5) $1,826 $59,144,000
7 The Magnificent Seven $5,200,000 (-42.3) $1,620 $84,827,000
8 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life $4,250,000 (-38.2) $1,506 $13,760,000
9 Sully $2,960,000 (-40.9) $1,339 $118,371,000
10 The Birth of a Nation $2,715,000 (-61.2) $1,290 $12,243,000

[Chart via ScreenCrush]

Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.