The summer movie season always brings huge tentpole movies aimed at youngsters on summer vacation, which leads to a slew of box office blockbusters. The fall season doesn't always have the big exciting numbers of the summer season each weekend, but it is when we start to see a lot more adult fare, and potential awards season favorites. While we don't know how it may fare in the Oscar race, Ben Affleck's The Accountant ran away with an easy win this weekend with $24.7 million. This thriller easily beat out fellow newcomers Kevin Hart: What Now? and Max Steel, the latter of which couldn't even crack the top 10.
Box Office Mojo reports that The Accountant earned $24.7 million from 3,332 theaters for a solid $7,417 per-screen average. The movie had the nation's critics almost equally divided, with a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With a $44 million budget, Ben Affleck's The Accountant has already made more than half of its budget back in one weekend in theaters, but we'l have to see how it fares throughout the rest of its theatrical run.
Kevin Hart: What Now, Lionsgate's stand up concert film starring Kevin Hart, opened in second place with $11.98 million, just barely beating out last weekend's winner, The Girl On the Train, which dropped to third place with $11.97 million. Since these two movies are so close together, separated by roughly $10,000, it's possible that they could change places when the actual numbers arrive on Monday. Kevin Hart: What Now earned a decent $4,669 per-screen average from 2,567 theaters, while impressing critics with a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.. This debut is nearly $2 million higher than Kevin Hart's last stand up concert film, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, which debuted with $10 million in 2013 en route to earning $32.2 million domestic.
On the other end of the spectrum, Max Steel couldn't even crack the top 10, finishing in 11th place with $2.1 million from 2,034 theaters for a horrendous $1,064 per-screen average. It was a critical disaster as well, with zero positive movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (out of just eight reviews posted). The top 5 is rounded out by Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children ($8.9 million) and Deepwater Horizon ($6.3 million).
The Accountant centers on Christian Wolff (Affleck) as a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.
In Universal Pictures' Kevin Hart: What Now?, comedic rock-star Kevin Hart follows up his 2013 hit stand-up concert movie Let Me Explain, which grossed $32 million domestically and became the third-highest live stand-up comedy movie of all time. Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out performance of What Now?-filmed outdoors in front of 50,000 people at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field-marking the first time a comedian has ever performed to an at-capacity football stadium.
When teenage Max McGrath discovers his body can generate the universe's most powerful energy, he must bond with the only being able to contain it - a mysterious techno-organic extraterrestrial named Steel. United as the superhero Max Steel, the two friends must combat an alien menace and unlock the secrets of their past. Ben Winchell stars as Max McGrath, with Josh Brener providing the voice of Steel. The cast also includes Andy Garcia, Ana Villafane and Maria Bello.
The top 10 is rounded out by Storks ($5.6 million), The Magnificent Seven (5.2 million), Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life ($4.2 million), Sully ($2.9 million) and The Birth of a Nation $2.7 million). Also opening in limited release is IFC's Certain Women, which earned $65,230 from five theaters for a $13,046 per-screen average, STX Entertainment's Desierto, which earned $450,000 from 73 theaters for a $6,164 per-screen average, Eammon Films' Coming Through the Rye, which earned $4,000 from one theater, GKIDS' Miss Hokusai, which earned $25,042 from two theaters for a $12,521 per-screen average and Roadside Attractions' Priceless, which took in $703,200 from 303 theaters for a $2,321 per-screen average. No box office data was released for Pantelion's La Leyenda del Chupacabras, Arc Entertainment's Maya Angelou and Still I Rise, Indican's Search Engines and TriCoast Worldwide's Shadow World. It isn't known if any of these limited release titles will be expanding in the weeks to come.
Looking ahead, next weekend is one of the most crowded of the year, with five wide releases hitting theaters. Lionsgate brings Boo! A Madea Halloween to theaters, along with Paramount's Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, 20th Century Fox's Keeping Up With the Joneses, Universal's Ouija: Origins of Evil and PureFlix's I'm Not Ashamed. Also opening in limited release is Lionsgate's American Pastoral, Freestyle Releasing's Autumn Lights, Kino Lorber's documentary Fire at Sea, Independent's Good Kids, Magnolia's The Handmaiden, Focus World's In a Valley of Violence, A24's Moonlight and Drafthouse's We Are X. Check back on Tuesday for next week's round of predictions, and take a look at the box office estimates below, for the weekend of October 14.