Ben Affleck’s gambling thriller Runner, Runner failed to impress critics or moviegoers over the weekend. With a $7.6 million gross, the film landed in third place on the weekend box office list–a hefty $48 million behind top spot holder, Gravity. Waking up to disappointing returns is not something the two-time Oscar winner hasn’t experienced before. Despite praise for his acting, screenwriting, and directing, Affleck has been partial to more than one bad decision over the years–more or less any time his character is required to get a spray tan. (Does a little gem called Gigli ring a bell?)
To further explore Affleck’s lowest of lows, we dug up his most disappointing box office performances that were also panned by critics, all of which seem like even more quizzical choices if you’ve watched Argo, Good Will Hunting, or The Town over the last few months. Check out the list below, which proves moviegoers have a short memory when it comes to Oscar winners.
5. Jersey Girl (2004)
Opening Weekend Box Office Gross/Worldwide Box Office Gross: $8.3 million/$37 million
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 41%
Affleck teamed up with frequent collaborator Kevin Smith to play a successful, career-driven New York publicist whose life is suddenly transformed by unexpected single parenthood. Smith later said his film “wasn’t for critics,” but with such modest box office numbers, it apparently wasn’t for moviegoers either.
4. Reindeer Games (2000)
Opening Weekend Box Office Gross/Worldwide Box Office Gross: $8.1 million/$23.3 million
Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 25%
As a prisoner with the same name as Santa’s favorite reindeer, Affleck takes on the identity of his fellow inmate in hopes of scoring with his girl (Charlize Theron). This anti-holiday thriller plays up on the themes of Christmas time, while moving down a checklist of Hollywood cliches. Pay no attention to the Santa Claus stuffing money from a casino into his pants, children!
3. Runner, Runner (2013)
Opening Weekend Box Office Gross/Worldwide Box Office Gross: $7.6 million/TBD
Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 8%
Riding high off his Best Picture win for Argo, Affleck shed the scruffy, ’70s beard we loved so much during awards season in exchange for a large dose of Vitamin D. Playing international poker king Ivan Block, Affleck runs a successful string of online gaming websites, which allow him to sun himself on various island locales by day, and ripping off poor grad students like Justin Timberlake by night. Seriously, he is so tan.
2. Surviving Christmas (2004)
Opening Weekend Box Office Gross/Worldwide Box Office Gross: $4.4 million/$14.3 million
Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 7%
Realizing that he’s let his career get in the way of his personal relationships, Drew Latham (Affleck) attempts to make amends with his past by visiting his childhood home during the holidays. The only problem is that the house is now occupied by James Gandolfini and his (non-mafia) family. Nothing $250,000 can’t fix! Holiday hijinks ensue, and Affleck is at his most manic yet. The only plus is seeing Gandolfini in a Christmas sweater.
1. Gigli (2003)
Opening Weekend Box Office Gross/Worldwide Box Office Gross: $3.7 million/$7.26 million
Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 6%
There early aughts were a rocky time in Affleck’s professional and personal life. After going 3 for 5 on Razzie nominations for Best Actor from ’03 to ’05, nothing better defines the period than his performance in Gigli. Working opposite Jennifer Lopez, who would go on to become his fiance and one half of the “Bennifer” power couple, Affleck played Larry Gigli, a L.A. mobster with slick hair, a very depressing “New Yawk” accent, and a distracting bronze glow. Perhaps the result of too much time spent on Jenny From the Block’s yacht?[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures]