Can Bradley Cooper Win the Oscar for ‘American Sniper’?

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.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.In order to gain more than 40lbs in just a few months, the 40-year-old actor was forced to eat four times the amount recommended for an average person. ‘He was eating about every 55 minutes or something like that, and I want to say it was about 8,000 calories a day,’ American Sniper writer-producer Jason Hall revealed to People. ‘He was determined to do it naturally, he didn’t want to use any hormones or steroids or anything. 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.

He was just very systematic about it and took his trainer with him wherever he went.’ The American Hustle star recently told Vanity Fair he was motivated to bulk up naturally, having been sober for 10 years after a period of drug and alcohol abuse. 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. The Warner Bros. film, Eastwood’s biggest ever, also set the mark for one-day and three-day January sales. “Paddington” came in second with $25.2 million for Weinstein Co., industry researcher Rentrak Corp. said Monday in a statement. “The Wedding Ringer,” from Sony Pictures (6758), collected $24.5 million.

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. 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. He has since lost the weight, with a diet consisting of dishes like pumpkin soup while rehearsing for his current Broadway role in The Elephant Man, as stated in the Vanity Fair piece. ‘He actually proved himself to be really good,’ Hall said. ‘The second day, in the morning, he went out there and was consistently hitting 800-yard targets the size of a teacup.’ Bradley laboured to capture the late sniper’s persona, working with a vocal coach twice a day and watching hours of footage featuring Kyle, who died in 2013. ‘There were moments where they’d get him at a certain angle and you just felt Chris, you felt the essence of Chris.

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. 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. Standing behind the monitors, I’d just get goose bumps rushing up my legs.’ Kyle became the most successful sniper in American military history, claiming 255 kills over six years, with 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon.

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. 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.

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. This really obliterated expectations,” Dergarabedian said of Eastwood’s movie. “He’s an octogenarian and he’s still rocking it.” In a crowded box office over the MLK weekend, “American Sniper” benefited from Oscar nomination buzz. 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. The film’s debut eclipsed the previous best of Eastwood’s career, the $29.5 million that “Gran Torino” captured in January 2009, Dergarabedian said.

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. 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. On Friday alone, “American Sniper” took in $30.5 million, he said. “Very few directors or artists can aspire to such longevity and relevance at this point in their career,” the analyst said in a telephone interview. “American Sniper” follows the story of Chris Kyle, a lethal sniper in the Iraq War, played by Cooper. 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.

Sienna Miller and Luke Grimes co-star. “This is a cultural phenomenon,” said Dan Fellman, the president of domestic distribution for Warner, who described the film as the first “real” superhero movie. “It has touched the heart and souls of people in small towns, cities, red states, blue states. 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. People have identified with it and they want to see it.” Projected to generate $57 million in over the four days by researcher Boxoffice.com, “American Sniper” is the third consecutive war drama to open on an MLK holiday. The Regal Entertainment cinemas in South Gate, California, were offering “American Sniper – An Imax Experience” for $18.50 a ticket on Jan. 16. “Paddington,” which opened over the weekend, was adapted from a children’s book in which a bear finds his way into the home of the Browns, played by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins.

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. 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. 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.

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 also authentic. Boxoffice.com had forecast sales of $19.5 million for 21st Century Fox Inc. “Selma,” another Oscar best-picture nominee, placed fifth with $11.5 million for Paramount Pictures, bringing its total to $29.2 million, Rentrak said. Theaters Theater (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 American Sniper $105.3 n.a. 3,555 $29,622 $108.7 4 2 Paddington 25.2 n.a. 3,303 7,631 25.2 1 3 Wedding Ringer 24.5 n.a. 3,003 8,159 24.5 1 4 Taken 3 17.4 n.a. 3,594 4,841 66.2 2 5 Selma 11.5 n.a. 2,235 5,145 29.2 4 6 Into The Woods 8.7 n.a. 2,758 3,153 116.4 4 7 Imitation Game 8.1 n.a. 1,611 5,008 51.7 8 8 Hobbit 6.0 n.a. 2,220 2,705 245.7 5 9 Night At The Museum 5.1 n.a. 2,437 2,078 106.0 5 10 Unbroken 5.0 n.a. 2,602 1,905 109.3 4 Top 10 Films Grosses This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $179.7 $146.9 +22 Year-to-date Revenue 2015 2014 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $618 $598 3.4 n.a.– not applicable Source: Rentrak Corp.

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