Box office hits and misses: ‘The Accountant’ files a winning weekend while ‘Max Steel’ rusts

Rick Marshall
Box office hits and misses: ‘The Accountant’ files a winning weekend while ‘Max Steel’ rusts
Ben Affleck and his action thriller The Accountant exceeded box-office predictions with a $24.7 million debut that put the film in first place domestically, while Mattel's Max Steel toy movie flopped.

The numbers added up to a big weekend for The Accountant, director Gavin O’Connor’s action thriller featuring Ben Affleck as a math savant who finds himself pursued by killers when one of his clients targets him for assassination.

Although the film earned mediocre reviews from professional critics, general audiences were far kinder to O’Connor’s film and gave it rave reviews to go along with positive buzz that could help it stick around in theaters. Box-office pundits didn’t predict anything over $18 million for the film, so its $24.7 million premiere is a welcome surprise for studio Warner Bros. Pictures and the film’s creative team.

Related: ‘The Accountant’ review

The only other new release to rank in the weekend’s domestic top ten was Kevin Hart’s stand-up comedy film What Now? The $11.9 million it earned was good for second place and narrowly edged out the thriller The Girl on the Train in its second week. The film’s debut also set a new opening-weekend record for stand-up comedy movies, passing 2000’s The Original Kings of Comedy and its $11 million debut, as well as Hart’s own 2013 film Let Me Explain, which had a $10 million opening weekend.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Accountant $24.7M $24.7M $27.5M
2. Kevin Hart: What Now? $11.9M $11.9M $11.9M
3. The Girl on the Train $11.9M $46.5M $79.6M
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children $8.9M $65.8M $196.7M
5. Deepwater Horizon $6.3M $49.3M $77M
6. Storks $5.6M $59.1M $130.7M
7. The Magnificent Seven $5.2M $84.8M $148.7M
8. Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life $4.2M $13.7M $13.8M
9. Sully $2.9M $118.3M $175.5M
10. The Birth of a Nation $2.7M $12.2M $12.2M

The rest of the weekend’s top ten films in U.S. theaters were all returning films, but there was some big news in the international box office, too.

Ron Howard’s Inferno — the third film based on Dan Brown’s series of novels that began with The Da Vinci Code — raked in more than $50 million overseas ahead of its domestic debut. The film won’t arrive in U.S. theaters for another two weeks, but it’s already well on its way to a good run with its international box-office earnings.

Back in the U.S., however, Open Road Films’ Max Steel movie, based on the popular Mattel toy line, didn’t fare so well with a meager $2.1 million opening weekend. The sci-fi adventure performed dismally in theaters and didn’t earn a positive response from critics or audiences, so its time on the big screen is likely to be limited.

Next week, Tom Cruise returns for more action as the title character in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, the sequel to the 2012 film Jack Reacher, which cast him as the former Military Police Corps officer featured in Lee Child’s series of popular novels. Also arriving in theaters is the comedy Keeping Up With the Joneses, which casts Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher as a suburban couple who believe  their new, too-perfect neighbors played by Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm have some sinister secrets.