‘American Sniper’ astounds with $105.3M over MLK weekend

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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. Following six Oscar nominations, including for best picture, best actor and best adapted screenplay, the film about America’s deadliest sniper in Iraq continued to pull in crowds across the country.Michael Moore, the Left-wing film-maker, has defended his much-criticised comments denouncing military snipers as “cowards” by claiming that “most Americans don’t think snipers are heroes”.

WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A pair of celebrity personalities are under fire after making controversial remarks over the film “American Sniper” over Twitter.American Sniper was expected to do well this weekend after an impressive limited release, but not this well: The Clint Eastwood-directed war film took in an estimated $90.2 million—and broke a few records.

The total easily topped the previous January high, James Cameron’s “Avatar” at $68 million in 2010.Warner Bros. estimates that “American Sniper” will make $105 million over the four-day Martin Luther King weekend, which would be another record. “This is staggering. Moore, an outspoken critic of US foreign policy, had launched a stinging attack on snipers as the film American Sniper, which stars Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal marksman Chris Kyle, broke box office records on its opening weekend. The Oscar-nominated film set a new record for a January opening by taking in $30.5 million on Friday, breaking the mark set by Cloverfield ($17.2 million on Jan. 18, 2008).

It’s blockbuster numbers in January, the sort of numbers usually reserved for summer films and superhero movies,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for Rentrak. “No one saw this coming. Director Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” simply explains the “plight” of the soldier, he told the Daily Beast, providing a “character study about a soldier.” But this was no ordinary soldier.

There was immediate and predictably angry denunciation of the comment by the film-maker, whose controversial 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 slammed the US war on terror. “My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II. Actor Seth Rogen took to Twitter, stating that the film reminded him of a scene in the WWII picture ‘Inglorious Basterds’, in which a Nazi propaganda film is being shown. “Oscar voters like controversy,” Johnson said. “They like to give the award to controversial films, but they don’t necessarily like giving awards to divisive films.” 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.

His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month,” he wrote. “Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. American Sniper also took a couple records from James Cameron’s Avatar, which previously held the records for biggest January weekend performance (it made $68.5 million the first weekend of 2010) and biggest gross for a single day ($28.5 million) in January.

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. Local comedy Si Accettano Miracoli took the number three position with $2.28 million, after its extraordinary New Years release, which brought in $8.5 million in one week. This is big for Sniper, especially given the sluggish starts for Clint Eastwood films lately: His last two films, 2014’s Jersey Boys and 2011’s J.

Only a coward will shoot someone who can’t shoot back.” “Most of us were taught the story of Jesse James and that the scoundrel wasn’t James (who was a criminal who killed people) but rather the sniper who shot him in the back. This announcement perfectly coincided with Sniper‘s Friday wide release, giving viewers who were previously on the fence about the movie—or just didn’t know about the movie—a reason to head to the theater. 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. Family-friendly Paddington also did predictably well with $19.3 million, a number definitely helped by those with kids looking for a PG alternative to the darker or raunchier films currently in theaters.

One of those darker films is Taken 3, which was number one last weekend but dropped down to the number four spot this time around with $14.1 million, 64 percent less than its $39.2 million opening. Costumes, hair, makeup superb!” The controversy about American Sniper deepened last night when Seth Rogen, the star and director of The Interview, the comedy that enraged North Korea, compared Eastwood’s film to Nazi cinematic propaganda.

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. And then there were the tales Kyle told about himself, which came under increasing suspicion after numerous journalists tried — and failed — to corroborate them. Detractors have accused it of fuelling Islamophobia, while some enthusiasts have deployed heavily racist language to revel in the killing of Muslims.

The cyber thriller, starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Michael Mann, has been plagued with less-than-stellar reviews—it currently has a 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes—that likely contributed to its relatively weak performance. And he also falsely claimed that he punched out former Minnesota governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura after Ventura, a former special forces operative himself, disparaged the U.S. It’s a lesson journalist Rania Khalek, who calls objectivity “bulls–t” on her Twitter profile, learned days ago when she let loose with a series of tweets that took aim at Chris Kyle. She highlighted several passages in Kyle’s book, also named “American Sniper.” “Savage, despicable evil,” Kyle wrote. “That’s what we were fighting in Iraq. That’s why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy ‘savages.’ There really was no other way to describe what we encountered there.” He later added: “There’s another question people ask a lot: ‘Did it bother you killing so many people in Iraq?’ I tell them, ‘No.’ … I loved what I did. … I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun.” To Khalek, any movie that lionizes Kyle represents “dangerous propaganda that sanitizes a mass killer and rewrites the Iraq War.” She said Kyle was consumed by a “unrepentant bloodlust” fueled by “hatred, bigotry and enthusiasm for killing Iraqi ‘savages.’” Khalek got death threats almost immediately for her comments.

DO ALL A FAVOR..GO KILL YOURSELF.” Or, as the left-wing website Alternet commented after posting an article critical of Kyle: “This kicked off an endless flood in our Twitter mentions of outraged right-wing military worshipers who’ve whipped themselves into a hateful frenzy out of blind obedience to a mass killer.” Even those who were less incendiary were met online venom. But that wasn’t before he got walloped: “Amazing considering guys like Kyle are the reason you’re not sitting in a NKorean prison right now,” one person told him. He noted that much of the controversy involves the extended battle over guns–and gun control–and pro-Iraq war conservatives versus anti-war liberals.

The number of Americans who have served in the Armed Services continues to decrease, many have commented upon what appears to be a growing cultural divide between civilians and combat veterans. Today fewer than .5 percent do, and many belong to a demographic that military analyst Thomas Ricks called “socially isolated, politically conservative.” That growing chasm has resulted in a modern America in which few grant much thought to soldiers, except for ritualized reverence of their service. If there’s any cultural force that exacerbate misunderstandings, its movies like “American Sniper,” according to Karl Eikenberry and David Kennedy in the New York Times in 2013.

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