'Kevin Hart: What Now?' lands at No. 2, 'Christine,' 'Certain Women' solid in limited release
Ben Affleck and Kevin Hart continue to prove themselves as two of Hollywood’s most consistently bankable stars, with new films from the leading men notching no. 1 and no. 2 debuts, respectively, at the weekend box office.
Though it didn’t stick its landing with critics, Affleck’s The Accountant, directed by Gavin O’Connor, pulled in an estimated $24.7 million from 3,332 screens to top the domestic chart. The film, which also stars Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons, earned a stellar A grade on CinemaScore, meaning strong word-of-mouth will bolster the film’s performance in the weeks ahead.
The Accountant debut falls in line with other live-action thrillers in Affleck’s filmography, including 2012’s Argo ($19.5 million), 2010’s The Town ($23.8 million), though it falls short of his last non-franchise opening, Gone Girl, which made $37.5 million over its first three days in 2014.
Unadjusted for inflation, Hart nabbed his highest concert film debut with What Now?, which pulled in an estimated $11.98 million at no. 2. The $9.9 million production, which features a mix of standup and scripted sequences, registered the lowest per-screen average ($4,669 from 2,567 screens) of Hart’s three theatrical specials. Let Me Explain averaged $11,450 at 876 theaters, while Laugh at My Pain scored a per-location average of $19,474 on 98 screens in 2011.
Falling two places to no. 3 was the Emily Blunt thriller The Girl on the Train, which chugged along to an estimated $11.97 million across its second weekend. The mystery, based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel of the same name, shed a little over 50 percent of its audience, a softer-than-expected fall as the film didn’t register positive notices from polled moviegoers (B- on CinemaScore) or critics (43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 5.4/10) last week. With $33.1 million from foreign markets, Girl‘s worldwide total stands at just under $80 million (on an estimated $45 million budget) thus far.
Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children finished its third week in wide release at no. 4, declining a healthy 41 percent to an estimated $8.9 million. With a North American haul of $65.8 million to date, the expensive live-action fantasy, which cost a reported $110 million to make, is pacing to become the auteur’s highest-grossing film since 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, likely to eclipse the $79 million domestic gross of 2012’s Dark Shadows by the end of its run.
Finishing the weekend in fifth place was Mark Wahlberg’s $110 million action-drama Deepwater Horizon, based on the real-life events leading up to the 2010 BP Oil Spill, which added another $6.4 million to its growing $49.4 million total.
Outside the top 10, Open Road’s Max Steel, based on Mattell’s line of superhero action figures, floundered with an estimated $2.2 million on 2,034 screens. STX’s Desierto, which traveled to festivals worldwide after debuting at TIFF in 2015, grossed a so-so $450,000 from 73 theaters, averaging $6,164 per-screen.
Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, which won top honors at the BFI London Film Festival’s awards ceremony this weekend, fared better on the specialty front, averaging $13,046 at 5 theaters for a weekend gross of $65,230. Similarly, The Orchard’s Christine Chubbuck biopic, Christine, pulled in a solid $12,372 from a single location.
Yearly box office is up 3.5 percent from the same frame last year.
Check out the Oct. 14-16 weekend estimates below:
1. The Accountant – $24.7 million
2. Kevin Hart: What Now? – $11.98 million
3. The Girl on the Train – $11.97 million
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – $8.9 million
5. Deepwater Horizon – $6.4 million
6. Storks – $5.6 million
7. The Magnificent Seven – $5.2 million
8. Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life – $4.2 million
9. Sully – $2.9 million
10. The Birth of a Nation – $2.7 million