Here’s what I’ve been saying since “The Town.” Warner Brothers recognized, in Ben Affleck, their replacement for Clint Eastwood.
He’s become a reliable box office star in front of and behind the camera. They’ve shoved him into a Bat costume, and made him an accountant.
And they’ve let him direct a solid true story thriller to Oscar winning glory.
“The Town,” “Argo,” “Batman v. Superman” and now “The Accountant” have all opened. And though “Sully” shows us Clint isn’t quite finished yet, their replacement is working out quite nicely, thank you — groomed for the part, mocked in some roles, but a solid choice when you’ve got a big ticket picture on the line.
Remember, nobody celebrated Clint’s acting until he got his AARP card. Affleck may be a stiff trying to play an Autism spectrum “dark money” bookkeeper with gun-wielding survival skills in “The Accountant,” but the movie still did a whopping $25 million+ this weekend.
Kevin Hart keeps going back to his audience for more pocket change with these concert films, and his latest pulled in over $12 million. It’ll top out in the mid $20s, maybe $30 ish. Low costs, a few top name cameos, and his pals help him write and direct it. Pocket change.
“Max Steel” had zero buzz heading into the weekend, a comic bookish (Is it a comic? Sorry, never heard of it. Maybe a video game?) action pic aimed at kids, it wasn’t previewed for critics. NONE have endorsed it. And it’s opening in the under $2 million range. That’s a BOMB.
“The Birth of a Nation” is still in the top ten, but barely. It has no staying power, has lost all its audience and will end up losing money for Fox Searchlight. It has zero Oscar prospects, to boot.
A flop, not a bomb. But still, beware of over-hyped Sundance pictures with little known rape charges hanging over the star, director and screenwriter. That tends to make people look at the weak acting and perfunctory directing a little more harshly.