Ben Affleck's The Town tops US box office
Story by Jack Foley
BEN Affleck’s second film as director, the heist thriller The Town, has topped the US box office with $23.8 million.
The strong opening for the movie took many observers by surprise in the States, especially since the film has [undeservedly] picked up mixed reviews.
But a strong cast, including Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, Oscar nominee Jeremy (The Hurt Locker) Renner and British actress Rebecca Hall, helped whip up interest in the Boston set pic.
It also marks a major step forward for Affleck as director, whose first film – the critically acclaimed Gone Baby Gone – debuted with $5.5 million in 2007.
The opening figure also marks a new record for a September debut for distributor Warner Bros..
Confirming The Town‘s surprise heavy box office hitting, Dan Fellman, distribution president of Warner Bros, told the Hollywood Reporter: “This is a big surprise for us. Everything just came together at the right moment, and we’re thrilled with the opening.”
The Town comfortably beat its nearest challengers, which included youth comedy Easy A, the pre-weekend favourite for top spot, which had to settle for second spot with $18.2 million.
Horror thriller Devil, based on an original idea by M Night Shyamalan (but not directed by him), notched third with $12.6 million despite not being screened for critics.
Nikki Rocco, of Universal, conceded that the film had still come in “on the lower end” of pre-release projections, but was optimistic it would recoup the distributor’s investment.
Last week’s box office champion, Resident Evil: Afterlife fell by a massive 62% in box office takings, dropping to fourth spot with $10.1 million, thereby stretching its domestic haul to $44 million in two weeks.
And a limited re-release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse helped the film to surpass the $300 million in domestic revenue, thanks to a weekend gross of $205,000. Its US total now stands at a very healthy $300.1 million.