Looks like Ben Affleck is getting the last laugh.
The scruffy-yet-handsome actor, who was mercilessly mocked for his performance in "Gigli" with ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez (and for fondling her rear end in a music video) seems on track to become one of our most critically acclaimed directors.
"The Town," Affleck's new heist movie and his sophomore effort at directing, skyrocketed to #1 at the box office this weekend, raking in $23.8 million, according to studio estimates.
The Warner Bros. movie accomplished a feat that is rare at the modern cinema: It managed to please both critics and fans. It also managed to further induct Affleck into a very elite club of Hollywood actors who have managed to turn themselves into successful directors.
"We're lucky to have [Affleck], who is establishing himself as a real director," Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.' head of distribution, told USA Today.
Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian says the success of "The Town" picks up where Affleck's 2007 directorial debut, the Oscar-nominated "Gone Baby Gone," left off.
"Ben Affleck is taking a page right out of the Clint Eastwood handbook. Obviously, he was known for being an actor, but he's very quickly gaining a reputation as a first-class director. He's made a great movie," Dergarabedian told the Associated Press.