THIS WEEK’S TOP PICK
With one of the year’s best trailers preceding it and its leading man’s star riding higher than ever, one would expect a little more excitement surrounding Warner’s The Accountant as the autumn season continues to wait for a sleeper hit to boost a beleaguered box office.
Unfortunately, Gavin O’Connor’s (Warrior) thriller is getting a harsh audit from critics as it resides with a lowly 51% on rottentomatoes.com. As we saw last week with The Girl on the Train‘s poor reviews, adult thrillers do need a decent critical stimulus to attract a significant audience, else be forced to coast on star power and title recognition alone. And it is the latter that The Accountant may struggle with since at least The Girl on the Train had a best-selling novel to boost its box office.
Estimates are placing The Accountant‘s opening prospects at around $16 million but, as previously mentioned, it may go much higher thanks to Ben Affleck’s star is burning brightly currently after a surprisingly good turn as Batman in the otherwise deplorable Dawn of Justice and his sterling work as a director over the last decade. It has a strong supporting cast too as it features Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, and Jeffery Tambor, so there’s plenty of quality on screen which could see the film top $20 million potentially if audiences decide to ignore the mediocre reviews.
What is certain, however, is that with a lack of any other major releases to compete with, The Accountant should be assured of being in the top spot come Monday… but only just.
BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS
This Friday’s only other significant release is the comedy concert film Kevin Hart: What Now? which could be a contender for the No. 1 spot itself. Kevin Hart has seen a meteoric rise in the last few years and has recently replaced Jerry Seinfeld as the world’s highest paid comedian and Hart will be looking to consolidate his success further here.
Going off current pre-sales, What Now? is outselling all other releases this weekend and could easily hit $20 million if that trend continues. It will be helped in its cause by high profile cameos such as Halle Berry and Don Cheadle and the film is looking set to eclipse Hart’s previous concert film Let Me Explain by some 75-100%. It is likely that What Now? will end up in second place but a minimum of $16 million is more assured than The Accountant so don’t be too surprised to see one of the hardest working performers in Hollywood right now topping the box office come Monday.
In terms of holdovers, Universal’s The Girl on the Girl will be battling it out with Fox’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for third place with the Emily Blunt led thriller currently favorite despite looking at a considerable 60% drop-off from its opening last week. Lionsgate’s Deepwater Horizon will likely follow behind in 5th and Sony’s The Magnificent Seven will drop out of the top 5 as it trots out the remainder of a satisfactory run.
Overall, we’re looking at another slow weekend in terms of revenue that could easily be some 30% down on the equivalent last year. Hopefully, though, prospects are looking up in the remaining weeks of October with the new Jack Reacher and Tom Hank’s Robert Langdon returning in Ron Howard’s Inferno. There’s still a mysterious lack of horror flicks given the season but the promising-looking Ouija: The Origin of Evil will be filling that void next Friday to give audiences something to scream about finally.