Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake’s ‘Runner Runner’ a Box Office Bummer

Runner Runner

'Runner Runner' tanks with $7.6 million

This time last year, Ben Affleck was riding an “Argo”-fueled high, with the pic generating awards buzz and solid box office receipts. Now, the Oscar-winning multihyphenate has come — and gone, it seems — quietly, starring alongside Justin Timberlake in the dismally reviewed action film, “Runner Runner.”

The $30 million-budgeted film, which Fox distributed, marks the follow-up to director Brad Furman’s 2011 hit “The Lincoln Lawyer,” though the former film never hit full speed in the lead up to opening weekend, grossing a meager $7.6 million, less than what even most rival studios had predicted.

SEE ALSO: Film Review: ‘Runner Runner’

Why wasn’t the one-two punch of Affleck (Batman, himself) and Timberlake (JT!) unable to gain momentum for “Runner Runner”? Bad buzz, plus “Gravity.”

“Runner Runner,” the poor-boy-tries-to-make-it-rich-only-to-be-double-crossed story, was overshadowed greatly by Warner Bros.’ fellow opener “Gravity,” which scored a record-setting October opening of $55.6 million. In fact, audiences had been buzzing about “Gravity” for months leading up to its release; back in August, the 3D space odyssey ranked among the top ten buzziest fall films, according to social media listening firm Fizziology.

SEE ALSO: Fall Movies: What’s Tweeted-About and What’s Most Challenging?

The “been-there/done-that” plot of “Runner Runner” is reminiscent of another recent box office bomb — Relativity’s thriller “Paranoia,” which so far has grossed only $7.4 million total domestic. That pic, however, lacked the star wattage of either Affleck or Timberlake. Instead, it had just Liam Hemsworth to attract youngsters.

It seems neither Affleck nor Timberlake has much pull with under-25 auds, as well.

“Runner Runner” earned an overwhelming 70% of its opening from filmgoers over 25 — and unfortunately for the Fox pic, which received 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the worst reviewed films so far this year, “Gravity” was the clear No. 1 choice for adults this weekend.

Regardless, “Runner Runner” already has matched its production budget in worldwide grosses. Fox launched the film internationally last weekend, and in two weeks, the film has grossed $23.6 million overseas, with $31.2 million globally. Pic’s domestic prospects are dismal, however.

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  1. Nathan says:

    As seen over and over agian, JT is not a movie star-no one is interested in him. Voice too high, too much “Im the shiit” acting…doesnt work-stick to SNL and singing. And Ben-always kind of limited-and bad press from Batman seeping over…the trailer showing him acting very poorly didnt help either

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  3. Batfleck cashed in all his serious filmmaker Oscar buzz when he decided to be Batman. It brought back all those memories of Daredevil and Gigli.

  4. bcf1206 says:

    Since I saw the movie Dogma I recognized Ben Afflecks’ ability as an actor,but a movie is only as good as its director and editor.

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  5. Cat KNELL says:

    Andrew and you call yourself a reporter?!!! You sound like a recent film school grad that watched alot of TV

  6. harry georgatos says:

    Films such as RUNNER RUNNER and PARANOIA failed at the box office because of one reason only and that is the scripts are shockers!! End of story. RUNNER is basically THE FIRM in the online gaming world. THE FIRM is a brilliant example of star wattage and excellent writing, direction, cinematography and editing. THE FIRM ran for a solid 148 minutes where the appalling RUNNER ran 91 minutes and if you take out the credits we’re looking at a pathetic 84 minutes!!! Not enough screen time to develop characters or story. RUNNER and PARANOIA are good concepts with hugely terrible development in writing with unbelievable situations and plot twists that is RUNNER. Blame the writers and directors for monumental screw-ups in the making of these two films!

  7. Robert Radley says:

    Ben Affleck has “come and gone”? Really, Andrew? There are a lot of reasons a film succeeds or fails, and “star power” – a pretty ephemeral concept to begin with – is but one. Ben Affleck is an enormously talented, ambitious, and still young-ish artist. He will be making films as a director, producer, or actor long after certain hyper-judgemental journalists’ careers have “come and gone”.

    • Nathan says:

      someone’s got a crush…

      • Robert Radley says:

        Well done, snark, Nathan. And that gets right to the heart of what Andrew’s off-handed remark was – pure snark from someone who has never made a film. I don’t know Ben Affleck personally, and have never been knocked out by his acting. But if you paid attention to his writing and/or directing in Good Will Hunting, Gone, Baby Gone, or Argo, he has a lot to contribute to our art form. Sure, Gigli was embarrassing – Batman may be, too. But, so was Clint Eastwood’s singing in Paint Your Wagon, and he’s done ok.

  8. Betina says:

    A very poor marketing strategy is to blame. Really, who approved the trailer? it said absolutely nothing, you left having no idea what was the movie about, just the sure feeling that you have seen it before. Better solid social media strategies and better trailers are needed in today’s business. Differentiation is KEY … Also, new stories and better writing are desperately needed in Hollywood.

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