Weekend box office: The Girl on the Train easily beats Birth of a Nation

When THE BIRTH OF A NATION (click the link to read our review) debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, I predicted it would win every Oscar the following year.  It got huge critical acclaim and I knew the Academy was anxious to over-correct from their Oscarsowhite embarrassment.  But that was before it was publicly revealed that the film’s star, writer and director, Nate Parker was accused of raping a woman several years ago.  That, coupled with a very poor performance at the weekend box office, and I’m pretty sure BIRTH OF A NATION isn’t going to be taking home any Oscars this year.  The Oscars are always so political anyway and I can’t imagine the Academy wants to trade one controversy for another.  Although Nation didn’t fare so well, Emily Blunt’s THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN did very well, proving that fans of a book will follow to theaters, even if critics aren’t big fans.  And maybe it’s time to start giving Emily Blunt some credit at the box office.

Next week, we’ll see if Ben Affleck can correct his bad year with THE ACCOUNTANT, which looks a lot like Ben Affleck being Ben Affleck.  We also get KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW, which will see if Kevin Hart can put people in theaters just by doing standup.  Then there’s MAX STEELE, which feels like someone made a mistake and decided to slip in an early October weekend in hopes no one notices.  I don’t think THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN will hold much of an audience and I’m not convinced Affleck can take a weekend on his own, so my money is on KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW because I’ve learned by now not to bet against him.  Note: the numbers below will be updated as they become final.

1. The Girl on the Train $26.7m

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children $14.7m

3. Deepwater Horizon $11.6m

4. Magnificent Seven $8.8m

5. Storks $8.5m

6. Birth of a Nation $7.8m

7. Middle School $6.6m

8. Sully $4.9m

9. Masterminds $3.9m

10. Queen of Katwe $1.6m


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