Long Range Forecast: ‘The Accountant’ & ‘Kevin Hart: What Now?’

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

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