- The Town box office: Directed by and costarring Ben Affleck, the generally well-regarded heist thriller topped the domestic chart after surpassing pundits’ opening-weekend expectations.
The Town box office: Well-received Ben Affleck thriller has decent domestic debut and may have a long run
Sept. 17–19 weekend box office: According to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com, Ben Affleck’s heist thriller The Town opened in North America (U.S. and Canada only) with $23.8 million, which, surprisingly, was about what distributor Warner Bros. had predicted. (Studios tend to downplay their “expectations.”)
On the other hand, box office pundits had generally been expecting that Affleck’s second directorial feature – three years after his well-regarded but commercially disappointing crime thriller Gone Baby Gone – would debut in the $18–$20 million range.
For comparison’s sake: John Luessenhop’s Takers – like The Town, a late-summer heist thriller – debuted four weeks ago with $20.5 million. Starring Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker, and Oscar nominee Matt Dillon (Crash, 2005), Takers has to date grossed a mid-level $52.4 million in the domestic market.
Another comparison: On its first weekend out, The Town (budget: $37 million, as always not including marketing and distribution expenses) earned more than Gone Baby Gone (budget: $19 million) during its entire domestic run ($20.3 million) in fall 2007.
Although The Town’s $8,321 per-theater average wasn’t exactly of blockbuster caliber, if word of mouth remains as positive as critics’ reviews Affleck’s thriller should continue to do steady business into the fall. (As per CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an A-.) Besides, studio ads emphasizing Oscar talk for the movie and its director won’t hurt any.
In addition to Ben Affleck as a Boston-based bank robber, The Town also features Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Owen Burke, Titus Welliver, Slaine, Oscar nominees Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, 2009) and Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father, 1993), and Oscar winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation, 2002).
Strong enough global take
Update: Ben Affleck’s heist thriller The Town ultimately collected a decent $92.2 million domestically and a far more modest $61.8 million internationally. Worldwide total: $154 million – surely enough to make this $37 million production profitable.
For comparison’s sake: Gone Baby Gone’s worldwide take was $34.6 million.
The Town’s top international markets were France ($8.9 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($7.5 million), Australia ($7.4 million), and Spain ($5.1 million).
“The Town Box Office: Ben Affleck Thriller Is Sleeper Hit” notes
Unless otherwise noted, “The Town Box Office: Ben Affleck Thriller Is Sleeper Hit” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about The Town and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner The Town movie image: Warner Bros.
“The Town Box Office: Ben Affleck Thriller Is Sleeper Hit” last updated in October 2023.