The Accountant proves one thing about Ben Affleck: He's a hot asset in Hollywood.
Affleck star-powered his action role as a genius bookkeeper with a particular set of killing skills to $24.7 million and No. 1 at the weekend box office, according to studio estimates.
Director Gavin O'Connor's moderately budgeted film ($44 million) didn't have gaudy opening numbers, but it was a clear win.
"The marketing for this movie showed it to be a smart action movie with Ben Affleck," says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "That combination worked for audiences this weekend."
The Accountant did take some deductions for negative reviews, with just 51% of critics liking it on review aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com. But audiences gave it an A grade at CinemaScore. "And it's the audience paying the bills," says Dergarabedian.
Kevin Hart's live comedy concert film Kevin Hart: What Now? made $11.98 million for the weekend and finished second
"It doesn't matter what the rank, Kevin Hart is a profit machine. And Hart is the rare movie star working today that can star in a scripted comedy and fill a theater with stand-up comedy," says Dergarabedian.
The opening weekend beat 2013 predecessor Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, which opened with $10 million and went on to make $32 million.
What Now? had a 78% positive critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an A- from audiences at CinemaScore.
The thriller The Girl on the Train, starring Emily Blunt in the title role, came in third with $11.97 million ($46.6 million total in two weeks).
Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children landed in fourth with $8.9 million in its third weekend ($65.8 million total).
Mark Wahlberg's disaster drama Deepwater Horizon rounded out the top five with $6.4 (for $49.3 million in three weeks).
Final numbers are expected Monday.