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Weekend Box Office: The Accountant Adds Up to Win, Kevin Hart Takes Second

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By Chris Kavan - 10/16/16 at 07:15 PM CT

Once again we have an adult-leaning drama taking first place, but once again the box office can only hold up to middling numbers. Compared to last year, the weekend was down 21% and it was down 7.4% compared to last weekend when The Girl on the Train opened. This means that Hollywood still hasn't gotten its footing this fall, and with October halfway done, it's looking grimmer and grimmer that there will be a true breakout hit. Movies are doing good - but they're not doing good enough. There are still a few options that may turn things around but at this point I'm no longer holding my breath for an exciting fall.


Our golden boy this weekend is Ben Affleck. The Accountant - an R-rated original story - opened to a pretty good $24.7 million. That is a better opening than Argo ($19 million) and The Town ($23 million) but fair bit behind Gone Girl ($37 million). Still, it's the fourth best opening for an original live-action movie this year behind 10 Cloverfield Lane ($24.72 million), Donít Breathe ($26.4 million) and Central Intelligence ($37.5 million). On Monday - depending on the final numbers, it may wind up third. It was also ahead of most pre-weekend industry predictions, which had it falling in the $15-$20 million range. While critics could only muster up decidedly mediocre reviews, audiences were much happier, giving it an "A-" Cinemascore (compared to the "B-" for The Girl on the Train). The Audience was 58% male and 85% was over 25 (given its rating, not so surprising). Much like how this film did against the aforementioned Girl on the Train, the test for The Accountant will come when Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hits this upcoming weekend. It appears this has a better chance at hanging on to audiences, but if Affleck wants to make a new series for his Bourne Rainman - he better hope for some steady numbers in the coming weeks.


Red-hot comedian Kevin Hart continued his winning steak as What Now? opened to $11.98 million - the best weekend opening for a stand-up comedy special (Hart's previous film hit $17.3 million - but that was a Wednesday-Sunday five-day endeavor). What Now? is also the best-reviewed out of of Hart's trio of stand-up films, with a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences were also on board with an "A-" Cinemascore. It was split nearly evenly between men and women with 46% under 25 and African Americans making up 43% of the overall audience. The film has some work to do it it hopes to equal the $32.24 million of Let Me Explain, but even if it falls short of that mark, it has already eclipsed the $10 million (that Hart himself personally supplied) budget. From here on out it's just profit and if anyone deserves it, it would be Hart. If he believes enough to pony up that kind of cash, I say the more the better. Rumor is this is going to be his last stand-up film in theaters (but we'll see), and if that's the case, he's going out with another bang.


Last week's Emily Blunt crime/drama/mystery came in just behind What Now? with an $11.97 million weekend. That represents a drop of 51.2%, perhaps a slightly steeper drop than what was expected. Still, the film has earned $46.5 million thus far, which tops its $45 million budget. So far it's looking a lot like Prisoners ($20 million opening, 47% second-week drop) and if it continues to play out similar to that film, it will wind up with around $70 million - not quite double its production budget, but close enough to be considered a hit. This film will also be in direct competition with Jack Reacher, so it will be interesting to see how all three films weather each other's storms.


Tim Burton's latest ensemble fantasy took a 41.2% hit in its third weekend and took in another $8.9 million. That gives the film a new total of $65.8 million domestically. That may look dismal next to its $110 million budget, but Burton can thank the stars international audiences still support him, as Peculiar Children already has $196.7 million worldwide. The film is looking around a probably $85 million here at home - but much better with the rest of the world taken into account. It is holding better than Dark Shadows - and is performing about in line with Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (but has fallen behind the original).


The true-life story of the oil rig workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon hit dropped about 45% in its third weekend, taking in $6.35 million for a new total of $49.33 million. It may be able to catch up to Now You See Me 2 ($65 million) to become the biggest hit for Lionsgate outside of the Hunger Games/Divergent series - though it's not going to be able to catch up to the original Now You See Me ($117 million). If the budget wasn't so high on this - $110 million - it would look pretty good at this point. But with limited international prospects, Deepwater Horizon isn't going to be saved by the rest of the world and will probably not be able to recoup its costs in the long run.

Outside the top five: Even Max Steel's hardcore fans apparently didn't decide to show up to the latest film, as the film opened outside of the top 10 in 11th place with just $2.16 million. That means Max Steel joins Morgan as being one of the worst films to open in over 2000 theaters (the 13th worst to be exact). I'm guessing the brand on this was limited to begin with and it missed the boat by quite a lot.

In milestone news The Secret Life of Pets added $5.7 million on the international front, raising its total to $857.7 million and passing Inside Out on the all-time chart - placing it among the top 50 movies of all time on the worldwide charts.

Next week Jack Reacher: Never Go Back joins the crowded adult market, Tyler Perry returns with Boo! A Madea Halloween, we get a true Halloween movie with Ouija: Origin of Evil and a comedic spy-next-door offering with Keeping Up with the Joneses.


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