America Embraces ‘American Sniper’

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ smashes records with $90M weekend.

‘American Sniper’ had the largest opening ever for the month of January, with a box office take of an estimated $105 million over four days this weekend.There seems to be little middle ground in public opinion about the ruthless Navy Seal shooter who accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills.The film, which took in more than $90 million at the box office this weekend, tells the story of Taya’s late husband, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who is widely regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history. “American Sniper has broken records, which follows such an honest path of Chris’s life,” she elaborated. “We never expected anything and were always in a moment of stunned silence at the response from all the beautiful people in this world.” Chris served four tours in Iraq before his untimely death at age 38 in 2013, when he was allegedly shot by fellow Marine Eddie Ray Routh.

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” ignited the holiday weekend box office, leaving January records behind as it made a stunning $90.2 million in three days. As the closing credits for “American Sniper” rolled across the screen last weekend, a packed audience lingered in the dark silence, reverent and maybe stunned by what they had just seen. Routh is currently awaiting trial for capital murder. “The only thing I can say is thank you,” Taya added. “Thank you for the love and support of our military. No one saw this coming,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for Rentrak, a global media tracking firm based in Portland, Ore. “[P]eople are afraid of the continuing wave of terrorist attacks, and they’re looking for heroes,” says Wheeler Winston Dixon, co-editor of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “ ‘American Sniper’ is a really interesting film because it shows both the horror of war, and also depicts the toll that this conflict takes on the soldiers who fight in it,” says Mr.

In the memoir, Kyle writes that killing can be fun and refers to ‘savages’ Kyle was just told to go and do his job; to aim his expert eye through the eye of a high-powered rifle barrel and shoot people – before they shot him or his fellow soldiers. Pictures/Associated Press Steve Smith, an Army veteran and schoolteacher, walked out of a movie theater in Plano, Texas, on Saturday with tears in his eyes. After years of movie studios getting the military experience wrong with films like “The Hurt Locker,” the 33-year-old said, “American Sniper” had nailed it.

It begins with the bedrock values imparted by a loving, two-parent family who believed their first obligation was training their young sons to be honorable men. The film has been building an audience and blasting any projections all weekend.” The $105 million tally is more than double what analysts were expecting,Dergarabedian says. So I need no lectures on the horrors of battle, nor on the courage of those who serve their country.) The only thing that matters in war is winning, and fighting within the rules including the Geneva convention. It marks director Eastwood’s biggest debut, surpassing “Gran Torino,” which earned $29.5 million in 2008. “American Sniper” topped that with Friday’s $30.5 million opening.

The estimated IMAX total on 332 screens for the four-day weekend is $11.5 million (yet another record). “American Sniper,” with Bradley Cooper starring as Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle, initially opened in December to packed theaters in limited release — making nearly $3.4 million on a handful of screens in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. His book, on which the movie is based, is not for the faint-hearted and makes no attempt to pacify those who worship at the altar of political correctness. Even then, though, America’s sons will step forward, volunteering to join that increasingly endangered species of patriots who put themselves in harm’s way. In the movie, which is deemed by his widow and former Seal colleagues to be a very accurate portrayal of the man, I didn’t see Kyle needlessly abusing people in the style of the disgraceful Abu Ghraib criminals.

Its success is the strongest evidence yet that audiences including veterans and cultural conservatives who are more concentrated in the South and Midwest feel underserved by Hollywood and will turn out in droves for movies that are inspiring, patriotic and sincere. And he received Oscar nominations for his roles in the romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) and the crime drama “American Hustle” (2013).

Warner Bros. “mounted a relentless and effective marketing campaign that perfectly capitalized on the film’s themes and performances,” Dergarabedian says. While your children and mine were off at college securing their first down payments on the American dream, those other kids like Chris Kyle were providing the boots on the ground that have always been the essential down payment on American freedom. He also notes that the studio limited “ the availability of the movie for the first three weekends, [which] built up a demand.” Filmmaker Michael Moore, an Oscar voter and former Academy Awards governor for the documentary branch, tweeted on Sunday, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. All five of the top theaters for “Lone Survivor” were in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, while “Unbroken” performed extremely well in small cities such as Mesa, Ariz., and Lehi, Utah.

The film, based on the beloved bear star of the children’s books, scored well with critics (98% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (87%) alike. Instead, it shows the harsh, stark reality of war, both in the field and at home where so many relationships, marriages and states of mind are ruined by the hidden impact of combat. To reach more conservative audiences, Warner Bros. advertised and arranged publicity on Fox News, military blogs, and in “Soldier of Fortune” magazine, along with more traditional outlets like NFL playoff games, said the studio’s president of world-wide marketing, Sue Kroll. Although the mission of force protection may be clear, what do you do when your target is a 10-year-old boy carrying an anti-tank weapon or a rocket-propelled grenade?

Particularly important, she said, were screenings that began before Thanksgiving for veterans’ groups and on military bases to build buzz that the movie wasn’t just good, but authentic. Appropriately, director Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” rounded out the top five films with $8.3 million for the three-day weekend, and an estimated $10.3 million for the full MLK holiday. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?” Dixon sees it differently, saying, “far from being escapist, ‘American Sniper’ engages in the heat of the moment.” Mr. Even after Sept. 11, we kept those profound moral choices and invitations for self-sacrifice at a safe distance from the 99 percent of Americans whose wartime experiences were limited solely to the electronic coliseums of movies and TV. We proudly boasted that our defenses were manned solely by volunteers, without ever once coming to grips with the harder truth: Our future leaders may have Harvard degrees, but they will probably not been shaped by the shared experience of war or its remembrance.

Even if you only skimmed “The Federalist Papers” back when high schools still taught civics, wasn’t national defense supposed to be something more than a spectator sport? Repeating the success of “American Sniper” won’t be as easy as pumping out multiple “Iron Man” sequels. “This is a very specific film at a very specific point in time with all the right elements,” said Ms. However the Michael Mann-directed thriller “Blackhat,” financed by Legendary Pictures LLC and released by Universal, flopped with a dismal $4.4 million. Anyone seeing “American Sniper” will be forcibly reminded that our military is one of the few institutions where race is trumped by merit — each day and with a certain amount of irony.

Today’s “band of brothers,” however, is given even greater solidarity by the widening gulf separating American society from those who defend us. What a shock for the ordinary citizen to realize that military spouses and children also suffer from a manpower system in which the average U.S. soldier has been deployed on three or four combat tours. Exactly like radiation, post-traumatic stress disorder hanging like a dark cloud over each scene in “American Sniper” is simply a result of prolonged exposure to danger, an impending disaster no longer left to chance.

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