In an odd turn of events, Ben Affleck's 2016 action film The Accountant was the most-rented title of 2017. Among all the other digital offerings last year, the MPAA has confirmed that Affleck's film was the number one rented title.
The Accountant is a mostly fine action film starring Affleck as Christian Wolff, an autistic accountant for criminal and terrorist enterprises. On the side, and through a series of flashbacks, we learn that he is an adept fighter who has had a hand in several deaths of the Gambino crime family, a mafia presence in New York City. While he is uncovering embezzlement at a robotics company, things take a turn for the worse when the CFO is killed. From there, it's a twisty plot wherein Affleck stretched his still fresh Batman v Superman muscles. Except here, he's supposed to be killing people. According to the MPAA, it was the most popular title to rent.
The MPAA released their annual report this week, where they include home entertainment for the very first time. THR has a full report on all the numbers, but this inclusion may be the most shocking. Again, The Accountant received decent reviews, but put against the second and third most-rented titles - Moana and Wonder Woman, respectively - it pales in popularity and quality.
All of these numbers point to the bigger subject that home entertainment is running the game right now, which should surprise no one. MPAA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin wrote in the report, "The strong and vibrant theatrical and home entertainment market is expanding on many fronts, constantly innovating to deliver an unparalleled experience to audiences worldwide." The MPAA pulled their research from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO Go and CBS All Access to determine that audiences all over enjoy streaming content.
However, the fact that Affleck's mostly lackluster The Accountant was the most-rented title of 2017 is still somewhat of a shock. The film did fairly well, and even landed a sequel with Gavin O'Connor returning to direct. Affleck won't be returning, but that's not necessarily out of the ordinary. What it does indicate is that audiences will definitely go out of their way to rent movies that are not included in streaming subscriptions. To date, the only streaming service that has featured the The Accountant is HBO Go, which isn't one of the most well-known three: Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. Now that we have home entertainment included in the MPAA's annual report, movie fans can speculate about how America's renting habits will surprise us next year.