Filmmaker Gavin O'Connor's action-thriller The Accountant - Ben Affleck's latest starring vehicle - is poised to overcome mediocre reviews and top the box-office chart this weekend.
The Warner Bros. film, rolling out in 3,222 locations, is projected to open in the $15 million-$20 million range. More bullish box-office observers believe it has a shot at topping $20 million, thanks to Affleck. The actor plays a gun-wielding, small-town accountant who cooks the books for menacing mobsters.
Affleck stars opposite Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow in the movie, which cost just under $40 million to make. Currently, The Accountant sports a 44 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Read more: 'The Accountant': Film Review
Kevin Hart: What Now? and Max Steel also bow nationwide this weekend.
Hart's new film, from Universal, chronicles the final performance of his wildly successful stand-up comedy tour at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field in August 2015, along with a dress rehearsal. The movie, boasting an 89 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is projected to debut in the $13 million-$15 million from roughly 2,500 theaters.
Universal pegs the budget at less than $10 million. In 2013, Hart's Let Me Explain earned $32 million domestically, the third-best showing of all time for a stand-up comedy movie. What Now? is the fourth film Universal and the comic actor have worked on this year after Ride Along 2, The Secret Life of Pets and Central Intelligence, a co-production with Warner Bros.
Hart's longtime collaborators Leslie Small and Tim Story directed What Now?, with special appearances by Halle Berry and Don Cheadle.
Read more: 'Kevin Hart: What Now?': Film Review
Max Steel, based on Mattel's toy action figures, is looking at a modest opening in the $4 million-$6 million range, according to predictions. An origin story, the sci-fi adventure film chronicles the experiences of teenager Max McGrath and his alien companion, Steel, who combine their new powers to evolve into the turbo-charged Max Steel. The unlikely friends struggle to accept their oddly connected fates as they battle evil forces threatening mankind.
Last month, Dolphin Films and Mattel, who partnered on the movie, lost their bid for a kid-friendly PG rating. Instead, Max Steel will go out with a PG-13 rating when it opens in theaters Friday. Open Road Films is distributing the film in the U.S.
Max Steel was directed by Stewart Hendler, written by Christopher Yost and stars Ben Winchell, Ana Villafane, Andy Garcia, Maria Bello and Billy Slaughter. It has yet to be screened for critics.