American Sniper shoots to top of US box office

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ Breaks Box Office Records After Oscar Nominations.

The war drama, which racked up a surprising 6 Oscar nominations—including Best Picture—collected a massive $90.2 million in its opening weekend to set a record for January.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — American Sniper took aim at the box office and debuted in first place over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the first weekend since the Oscar nominations. His new film “American Sniper” took in $90.2 million over the weekend, and counting the MLK holiday Monday estimates project it will total around $108 million for the 4 day period.Filmmaker Michael Moore has lashed out at Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film ‘American Sniper’, saying he was taught that snipers were cowards.

The director, behind hit documentaries like ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′, ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and ‘Roger & Me’ among others, is known for his anti-gun views. “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2 (World War II). Number 2 for the weekend was Kevin Hart’s new comedy “The Wedding Ringer.” Hart hosted SNL Saturday night which probably helped ticket sales for his film this weekend. Nicknamed “Legend,” the Navy SEAL served four tours in the Iraq War, received several commendations for valor, and racked up 160 confirmed kills—though he later claimed the actual number was 255. Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at the Time Warner Inc. unit Warner Bros., which distributed “American Sniper,” said it had become “an instant cultural phenomenon.” It nearly bested Cooper’s previous biggest opening, Marvel superhero epic Guardians of the Galaxy in which he has a voice role – it made $94m on debut in August last year on its way to a $333m north American total, the year’s highest.

The shooter, a member of the elite American Navy SEAL commando unit, continued to scan the scene from an old building at the edge of the village. ‘It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it,’ he said later. ‘My shots saved several Americans, whose lives were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul.’ Little did Kyle know, but he would go on to become the most successful sniper in American military history, claiming 255 kills over six years, with 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon. Released in the UK on Friday, it is directed by no less a figure than Clint Eastwood, and stars the hunk-du-jour Bradley Cooper, who last week received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role. And invaders r worse (sic),” Moore tweeted without naming the movie. “But if you’re on the roof of your home defending it from invaders who’ve come 7K miles, you are not a sniper, u are brave, u are a neighbor (sic),” he wrote. American Sniper, which was nominated for six Oscars on Thursday, has captured the US public’s imagination on the same level as a tentpole action movie. Called American Sniper, and based on Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, the film reveals not only how he became so successful, but also how the trauma of fighting in Iraq never left him, right until Kyle’s own tragically early — and as we shall see, deeply ironic — death at the age of 38 in February 2013.

Green Zone, The Hurt Locker, The Lucky Ones, The Messenger, Stop-Loss, etc., American Sniper has already proven to be a box office hit, eclipsing its $60 million budget in its first three days of release. But not everyone was a fan of Eastwood’s film, which centres on the real-life US Navy Seal and sniper Chris Kyle, known for 160 confirmed kills in Iraq. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw labelled it “worryingly dull”, and there were even harsher comments from the leftwing US film-maker Michael Moore, who seemed to allude to the film. Fonda, of course, attracted the ire of many Americans when she took a trip to North Vietnam in 1972 and posed for several photos with NVA troops, earning her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” She later starred in the Oscar-winning Vietnam War drama Coming Home, about a ménage-a-trois involving Vietnam War veterans suffering from PTSD. Elsewhere at the North American box office, two more new entries fought it out for second place, the Kevin Hart comedy The Wedding Ringer ($21m) just beating Paddington’s $19.2m.

In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq, where he made his first long-distance kills — including that woman with the grenade — although he had not actually been trained as sniper. The Academy faced a lot of criticism for the lack of diversity in its nominations which many believed failed to recognise the contribution of women and blacks. This past weekend, she apologized for her “Hanoi Jane” days, calling her trip a “huge mistake.” While Fonda supported the film and its sympathy for PTSD-suffering military vets, other celebrities homed in on the film’s perceived jingoistic, pro-war message.

On an otherwise remarkable weekend for mid-January, the big loser was hacking-themed Michael Mann action movie Blackhat, starring Thor’s Chris Hemsworth. Despite a budget of more than $70m the thriller opened at number 10 with just $4m and appears on course to be 2015’s first major box office turkey. Bush in his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech, claimed that snipers like Kyle were “cowards” and “aren’t heroes”: Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden reportedly teared up at the end of American Sniper during the movie’s Washington D.C. premiere, and its Oscar-nominated star, Bradley Cooper, addressed its supposed political leanings in an interview with The Daily Beast. “For me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier,” said Cooper. “The guy that I got to know, through all the source material that I read and watched, and home videos—hours and hours—I never saw anything like that.

His instructor was perplexed, until he realised Kyle was missing one vital piece of his equipment — chewing tobacco, which helped him relax and shoot more accurately. ‘It was the only thing I had done differently and it turned out to be key. If it’s not this movie, I hope to god another movie will come out where it will shed light on the fact of what servicemen and women have to go through, and that we need to pay attention to our vets. On one afternoon, he spotted a group half a mile away, on an embankment. ‘In their mind, they couldn’t be seen and were safe,’ he said. ‘They were badly mistaken.’ Picking off their victims in cold blood, rather than the frenzy of a fire-fight, snipers are often regarded with distaste by other soldiers — and can expect instant death if caught by the enemy. The bullet hit one of the riders, passed through him, and hit the other. ‘Two guys with one shot,’ Kyle proudly said. ‘The taxpayer got good bang for his buck on that one.’ Kyle’s reputation spread far, and the insurgents labelled him the ‘Devil of Ramadi’ — and they even put up a ‘wanted’ poster. However, after publishing his book American Sniper in 2012 to much acclaim, and setting up a military training company, the future looked brighter, and Kyle even enjoyed a fair amount of celebrity.

When Kyle’s funeral was held ten days later, thousands lined the route of the 200-mile funeral procession, which took his body from his home in Midlothian, Texas, to the State Cemetery in Austin.

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