'The Way Back': How Ben Affleck's Basketball Drama Did at the Box Office in Its First Weekend

Ben Affleck has a new film out in theaters, a basketball drama called The Way Back. The film was released this past weekend, and, while it didn't end up being the No. 1 movie at the box office, The Way Back held its own as it put up modest numbers. According to The Numbers, Affleck's new film has grossed nearly $9.5 million worldwide. During the weekend, the film came in third behind Onward and The Invisible Man, grossing 8.2 million per Box Office Mojo.

Those aren't big numbers for a movie that features Affleck, but it was projected to make less money at the box office.

"Warner Bros.' adult drama The Way Back, starring Ben Affleck, debuted to $8.5 million from 2,020 theaters," Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter wrote. "While that's a sobering start for a movie boasting A-list talent and billed as a comeback for Affleck, it could have been worse. Some tracking services had the film opening to as low as $6 million (the high end was $10 million). The Way Back is the latest in a string of midrange misses for Warner Bros. and cost a reported $21 million to produce before marketing."

The Way Back is about a man named Jack Cunningham (Affleck) struggling with the separation of his wife and addiction. He is hired to be the head coach of his alma matter's high school basketball team and as the team comes together, Jack begins to confront the demons that have haunted him for a very long time.

Affleck knows about dealing with demons as he has dealt with alcoholism in the past and he has been divorced. He brought those experiences to the role but he also had to be creative.


"For me, it takes an emotional connection to the character," Affleck said to James Patrick Herman of Variety. "He's a recovering alcoholic, he's going through family strife, a divorce. But also there were things I couldn't imagine. One was being good at basketball — I'm not. You try to bring your own life experiences to the parts that you can and use your imagination on the other parts."

The Way Back has been getting strong reviews, and Affleck is receiving praise for his performance. In fact, USA Today recently ranked the 20 best basketball films of all-time, and The Way Back came in at No. 8.