‘Accountant’ topples ‘Girl on the Train’ at box office

Anna Kendrick as Dana Cummings in"The Accountant."  Chuck Zlotnick, Warner Bros. Pictures

“The Accountant,” featuring Ben Affleck as a math savant, outsold thriller “The Girl on the Train” to top the weekend box office in its debut.

The Warner Bros. drama collected an estimated $24.7 million in theaters in the U.S and Canada, ComScore Inc. said Sunday in a statement. It beat two other new releases, stand-up comedy show film “Kevin Hart: What Now?” and superhero movie “Max Steel.” “The Girl on the Train” fell to third place.

Affleck continues to be a box office draw in Hollywood, both as a director and actor. Yet “The Accountant” is dwarfed in its debut by his pull in roles like Batman. The actor who made his name two decades ago in “Good Will Hunting” has played an increasingly important role at Warner Bros. His portrayal of the DC Comics hero won praise in this year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Not only is Affleck directing and writing the script for a standalone Batman film for the studio, in which he will star, he also has been made an executive producer of another DC movie, “Justice League.”

In “The Accountant” Affleck plays Christian Wolff, leading a double life as a freelance accountant for criminal organizations. But as law enforcement bears down on him, he takes on what he thinks is a legitimate client but finds the numbers don’t add up, which leads him on a hunt for the missing money. Critics were split down the middle in their reviews, with 51 percent positive, according to Rottentomatoes.com.

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The movie had been forecast to generate $16 million, according to BoxOfficePro.com, and cost $44 million to make, before marketing expenses, Box Office Mojo said.

Universal Pictures’ “Kevin Hart: What Now?” garnered $12 million and placed second, according to ComScore, compared with a forecast of about $13 million from Box Office Guru. The movie is a taping of Hart’s 2015 sold-out stand-up show at a football stadium in Philadelphia. The nationwide tour broke records for ticket sales and revenue. According to Rottentomatoes.com, 78 percent of the film’s reviews were positive.

Open Road Films’ “Max Steel,” based on the Mattel character, wasn’t among the top 10 movies of the weekend.