LOS ANGELES — Ben Affleck is still a box office draw outside of the bat suit.

His new thriller “The Accountant” opened to a chart-topping $24.7 million this weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. Gavin O’Connor directed the R-rated thriller, starring Affleck as an autistic mathematician. The film didn’t play especially well with critics, but audiences, who were 58 percent male and 68 percent over the age of 35, gave it a promising “A” CinemaScore.

It’s the continuation of what proves to be a long and fruitful partnership between Affleck and Warner Bros. Although “The Accountant,” which cost a reported $40 million to produce, didn’t quite hit the heights of “Gone Girl’s” $37.5 million opening, it is in the range of some of his other R-rated fall openings with the studio. “Argo,” for instance, launched to $19.5 million in 2012, and “The Town,” took in $23.8 million in 2010.

“The Accountant” also far-surpassed Warner Bros.’ early predictions for the film, which had it in the $15 to $20 million range.

“We’re in the Ben Affleck business, and we’re proud of it. We’ve had a lot of movies with him, and we have a lot of movies coming up with him,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution. “Audiences just love him.”

Affleck’s mob drama “Live By Night,” which he wrote, directed and stars in, opens on Christmas. He also has the DC comics films with the studio.

The weekend’s other new star-driven project, “Kevin Hart: What Now?” narrowly took second place over last week’s champ “The Girl on the Train.”

– The Associated Press


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