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New in Theaters October 14: The Accountant, Kevin Hart: What Now?, Max Steel

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By Chris Kavan - 10/13/16 at 06:45 AM CT

The Girl on the Train steamrolled Birth of a Nation last weekend but the fall continued to be downbeat for Hollywood as it continued the downward trend that has been happening since September. Will Ben Affleck and his mad accounting skills be enough to turn things around? Well, we also have Kevin Hart, whose past stand-up films have also been a boon at the box office. Finally we have a teen superhero that looks to capitalize on a popular TV show. The big question remains if the three newcomers will be able to turn around the box office fortunes.

THE ACCOUNTANTAdult-leaning dramas have come out swinging, but none have achieved greatness since Sully lit up theaters. Can Ben Affleck and his Rain Man-meets-Jason-Bourne film The Accountant stoke up audiences enough to break out big time? Affleck portrays the title character as a math savant who cooks the books for some of the most dangerous organizations around. The treasury department is closing in - but so are some of his clients. But besides being good with numbers, our accountant also lives by his own personal code - and if you break that code, well, let's just say things can get messy. Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Jean Smart and Cynthia Addai-Robinson are among the big names also on board. The talent is there, the film looks pretty exciting - but will it be enough to draw in a reluctant fall audience? The box office hasn't been burning up - but maybe, just maybe, this film can help things turn around.

KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? Comedian Kevin Hart has been on a great winning streak. While not all of his films have been huge - all have been profitable. That includes a string of stand-up films that started back in 2011 when Laugh at My Pain made over $7.7 million even though it never played in more than 300 theaters. Things got better in 2013 with Let Me Explain, which played in considerably more theaters and went on to make over $32 million. Given that he continues to be a big draw, Hart's What Now? should continue the trend and come out on top. Whether it will do better than Let Me Explain is hard to say - but I think it has a great chance of doing just as well, if not better. Hart is a talented, much-liked actor and comedian and there is nothing quite like What Now? playing - all of which should lead to decent numbers and another stellar showing for the man.

MAX STEEL I have no problem admitting that I have no knowledge of Max Steel - not its two television iterations, nor this new films that is coming out. But I'm sure for certain audience members, Max Steel is much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers - a true hero they can relate to. It turns out Max Steel is, like Superman, a name given that combines Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) and his alien/techno-organic companion Steel (voiced by Josh Brener) who combine to form the title hero. Maria Bello, Andy Garcia, Ana Villafaņe and Mike Doyle help round out the cast. I haven't seen a lot of publicity for this, so my guess is this is going to play mostly to fans of the show. I'm not even sure how big an audience that might be - but I'm predicting this will fall outside the top five.

It's going to be interesting to see whether this new crop will be able to turn around the rather disappointing fall the box office has thus far seen. I'll be back Sunday with the good and or bad news.


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