Box office report: ‘American Sniper’ breaks January records

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ scores huge at box office, soon to pass $100 million.

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. 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.It is now on pace to decimate records for the Martin Luther King holiday and for the month of January, pulling in roughly $105 million over the four-day period.Here’s a look at the records that the Academy Award-nominated “American Sniper” already broke — or could break when final figures are released Monday: As Business Insider noted, “American Sniper” has easily outdone the previous record-holder, 2014′s “Ride Along,” which brought in $41.5 million its opening weekend. “The Matrix Reloaded” earned $91.7 million on its opening weekend back in 2003.Cooper, 40, who has been nominated for best actor Oscar for his portrayal of lethal Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, said he was initially wracked with anxiety over whether or not he could succeed in the role. “It was a life-changing experience, truthfully.

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 also a new high-water mark for director Clint Eastwood, whose previous weekend record was the $29.5 million wide-release opening for 2008’s “Gran Torino.” At 84, he’s still got it. “The movie has become a cultural phenomenon,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution. “It tore apart the record book and not by a little.

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. By an enormous amount.” “American Sniper,” recently picked up Oscar nods for Best Picture and Best Actor for star Bradley Cooper, and the awards buzz only intensified interest in the film.

That’s right — even such blockbusters as “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (debut $72.6 million) and “Titanic” (debut $28.6 million) can’t compare to the $90+ million haul of “American Sniper.” I was nervous, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it,” he said. “There were a lot of sleepless nights early on where I was really overwhelmed with the responsibility. 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. 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. Coming out the other side of that was a huge accomplishment and it always makes you stronger, whether you fail or succeed, you gain different things from that,” he added.

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. 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. Year-to-date, the box office is up about 3%. “American Sniper,” which cost Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow about $58 million to make, is adapted from the Chris Kyle autobiography of the same name.

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. It follows the story of Kyle (Bradely Cooper), a Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sniper in American history. “Sniper” enjoyed a 14% uptick on Saturday, suggesting it benefited from positive word of mouth.

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. It also keeps Hart’s box office roll going following his success in recent hits such as “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man.” “Kevin Hart really is that guy that everybody wants to hang with,” said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures president of worldwide distribution. “Not only is he always funny, but he’s that guy that you want to sit down and have a beer with. 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.

He hires Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), whose company provides a flattering best man for the guy in need. “Taken 3,” last week’s box-office winner, was in fourth and added about $14.1 million in the Friday-Sunday period. 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. 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.

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