October 14, settled between the prior weekend with four new wide releases and the weekend after with a staggering six new wide releases, will be a quieter one at the box office. But the two new wide releases will both compete for the top spot: Warner Bros. with their crime drama The Accountant and Universal with the concert special Kevin Hart: What Now?
The Accountant (Warner Bros.)
- The story of an accountant who does the finances for criminal syndicates is a unique premise that could appeal to adults. The original plot stands out in a movie season filled largely with sequels, book adaptations, and remakes/reboots.
- The all-star cast including Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, and recent Oscar winner J.K. Simmons packs a punch. Kendrick in particular has never been hotter at the box office, with her last two wide releases being Pitch Perfect 2 and Into the Woods.
- Lead star Affleck has had a very mixed record at the box office in recent years. Of his three most recent wide releases, Gone Girl did great, Runner Runner bombed, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice — while making hundreds of millions, which was virtually guaranteed — actually came in below many analysts’ expectations considered its sky-high expectations and name recognition, as a recent New York Times article explained.
- The Accountant was originally scheduled for release this past January. January was the lowest-grossing month during every year so far this decade. While its box office potential will doubtless be improved by being released in October instead, this was still originally seen by the studio as a “January” kind of movie. Not a great sign.
- This will be competing with other films in the “adult drama/action” genre, including holdovers The Girl on the Train The Birth of a Nation from the weekend before and Deepwater Horizon from two weekends before.
Kevin Hart: What Now? (Universal)
- Kevin Hart’s 2015 nationwide comedy tour was so popular that he sold out the 53,000 seat Lincoln Financial Field football stadium in Philadelphia. This was the largest audience for a solo comedian since Larry the Cable Guy (of all people) also sold out about 53,000 at University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.
- If more than 600,000 people were willing to buy tickets to Hart’s tour, even when prices were averaging almost $200 on the secondary market, presumably millions more would be willing to pay a mere $10 or so to see the same act in theaters.
- Hart has been on a roll at the box office recently, with all three of his most recent live action films making at least $90+ million: Central Intelligence, Ride Along, and Get Hard. Make that streak four films if you count his voice role in the animated blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets.
- This is Hart’s third comedy concert film. His first, 2011’s Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain made $7.7 million in 287 theaters. His next, 2013’s Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain made $32.2 million in 892 theaters. This film is virtually certain to open in more than 1,000 theaters, and the box office gross may improve accordingly.
- Just because audiences like Hart in acted roles doesn’t mean they’ll flock to him “as himself” in a stand-up comedy concert film. In fact, Laugh at My Pain and Let Me Explain are two of his lower-grossing films this decade.
- The trailer has less than one million views on YouTube — a worrying sign.
- The stand-up comedy concert genre — a powerhouse in the ’70s and ’80s with now-iconic films from the likes of Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, and Richard Pryor — has almost completely faded. In fact, except for Hart’s two aforementioned films, no stand-up comedy concert movie made more than $2 million at the box office, with the closest being Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic with $1.7 million in 2005.
Check out our complete long range forecast in the table below.
|Title||Release Date||Distributor||Opening Weekend||Cumulative|
|The Accountant||Oct 14, 2016||Warner Bros.||$17,000,000||$60,000,000|
|Kevin Hart: What Now?||Oct 14, 2016||Universal||$11,500,000||$25,000,000|
|The Girl on the Train||Oct 7, 2016||Universal||$24,000,000||$80,000,000|
|The Birth of a Nation||Oct 7, 2016||Fox Searchlight||$19,000,000||$78,000,000|
|Friend Request||Oct 7, 2016||Freestyle Releasing||$3,500,000||$8,000,000|
|Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life||Oct 7, 2016||Lionsgate||$5,500,000||$16,500,000|
|Deepwater Horizon||Sep 30, 2016||Lionsgate||$19,000,000||$62,000,000|
|Masterminds||Sep 30, 2016||Relativity Media||$11,000,000||$29,000,000|
|Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children||Sep 30, 2016||Fox||$18,000,000||$59,000,000|
|The Magnificent Seven||Sep 23, 2016||Sony||$49,000,000||$150,000,000|
|Storks||Sep 23, 2016||Warner Bros.||$21,000,000||$71,000,000|
|Bridget Jones’s Baby||Sep 16, 2016||Universal||$12,000,000||$39,000,000|
|Snowden||Sep 16, 2016||Open Road Films||$6,000,000||$16,000,000|
|Blair Witch||Sep 16, 2016||Lionsgate||$10,000,000||$22,000,000|
|Hillsong – Let Hope Rise||Sep 16, 2016||Pure Flix||$6,250,000||$21,000,000|
|Sully||Sep 9, 2016||Warner Bros.||$22,000,000||$81,000,000|
|When the Bough Breaks||Sep 9, 2016||Sony||$19,000,000||$40,000,000|
|The Wild Life||Sep 9, 2016||Lionsgate||$3,750,000||$9,000,000|
|The Light Between Oceans||Sep 2, 2016*||Disney / Buena Vista||$7,000,000||$30,000,000|
|Morgan||Sep 2, 2016*||Fox||$7,000,000||$14,000,000|
|Don’t Breathe||Aug 26, 2016||Screen Gems||$9,000,000||$22,000,000|
|Hands Of Stone||Aug 26, 2016||Weinstein Company||$5,000,000||$14,000,000|
|Mechanic: Resurrection||Aug 26, 2016||Lionsgate/Summit||$8,000,000||$20,000,000|
*Indicates four-day weekend