Michael Moore Slams ‘Coward’ Snipers as ‘American Sniper’ Opens

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ hits its box office marks, and then some.

Filmmaker Michael Moore has slammed snipers as ‘cowards’ who ‘shoot you in the back’ – the same weekend the Oscar-tipped movie American Sniper hit cinemas.

The huge box-office take for the biopic about decorated marksman Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, more than doubled industry estimates coming into the weekend, to the delight of “Sniper” distributor Warner Bros. “People in small towns, big and small cities, in the heartland, in both red and blue states, people who go to the movies once every year or two, they all came out,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros.’ domestic distribution chief.Oscar-nominated war film “American Sniper” led U.S. and Canadian box office charts over the weekend with a record-smashing $90.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates. “American Sniper” virtually doubled industry expectations after widely expanding to some 3,500 screens from just a handful of theaters the day after scoring six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Cooper, who plays a Navy Seal sharpshooter.This piece will be dealing solely with American Sniper and its huge $90.2 million weekend, with the rest of the weekend box office news to be found HERE.

LOS ANGELES – Hollywood is prone to superlatives, but this one is truly jaw dropping: “American Sniper,” which arrived in wide release Friday, is expected to sell $105.2 million in tickets in North America over the holiday weekend. Pictures, Kyle Gallner, left, and Bradley Cooper appear in a scene from “American Sniper.” The film is based on the autobiography by Chris Kyle. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Blowing past all reasonable predictions, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which stars Bradley Cooper as the most prolific sniper in US military history, crushed the January record books with a scorching $90.2 million Friday-to-Sunday and an estimated $105 million Friday-to-Monday debut frame.

According to research firm Rentrak, if estimates hold, this will be a record Martin Luther King Jr weekend at the box office, with an overall projected gross of $240 million through Monday. And invaders r worse.’ 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. The film, expected to add another $15 million on Monday, set records in IMAX theaters, unusual for a drama, and far surpassed Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” which opened at $29.5 million in 2008. “The Wedding Ringer” stars Kevin Hart and Josh Gad in a buddy comedy about a for-hire best man, played by Hart. This one bested that in a day, and is nearly 2/3 of the way (around $108m as of Monday) to besting the $148m domestic total of said Eastwood picture to claim the top grosser spot of his legendary career. Moore won an Oscar in 2002 for his documentary Bowling For Columbine, exploring gun violence in America and the main reasons for the Columbine High School massacre.

It also set a record, for an R-rated comedy January opening. “We definitely succeeded alongside it,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Corp’s studio, speaking to “Sniper”‘s success which did not hurt other top films. “It’s been a fun weekend to watch.” The family-friendly “Paddington,” which won rave reviews with 98 percent of critics on website Rottentomatoes giving it a fresh rating, chronicles the adventures of the bear, voiced by Ben Whishaw, who travels to London from Peru seeking a home. Rounding out the top five, Liam Neeson thriller “Taken 3″ took in $14.1 million, according to tracking firm Rentrak, while civil rights drama and Oscar nominee “Selma” earned $8.3 million. “Paddington” was released by The Weinstein Company. “Taken 3″ was distributed by Fox, a unit of Twenty-first Century Fox . “Selma” was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. (Editing by Rosalind Russell) The dynamite first teaser ranks among the best such spots from last year, and Warner Bros. knew it didn’t have to do much more that drop that harrowing tease. The Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc. release even made it seem like even more of an event via asking IMAX to do a lightning-quick conversion for this weekend’s wide release. If you count it as an action film, and for the record I do, it’s one of the biggest debuts ever for a “real world” non-comic book/sci-fi/fantasy action picture, behind just Fast & Furious 6 ($97.3m) and ahead of the likes of Skyfall ($88.3m), and Fast Five ($86.1m).

Okay, if you want to count the mostly “real world” Indiana Jones pictures (they tend to go religious/fantasy right at the very end), then you add in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with its $100m Fri-Sun debut. As I discussed last January when Lone Survivor debuted with $37.8 million, films that unequivocally play to and/or are about people living in so-called flyover country yet are actually released wide enough to be seen by said moviegoers are akin to event movies. American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood, earning mostly decent reviews and the above-noted Oscar buzz, and acting as a rare big-budget war movie that didn’t necessarily rub audiences’ faces in the morality of the specific conflict was indeed akin to The Avengers for the specific audience that will eat this up like catnip. Mr. “We shouldn’t have been over there in the first place!” liberal film critic may have issues with the film’s politics, tin-eared dialogue, and its massaging a true-life biopic into generic action movie cliches (it’s less jingoistic than Lone Survivor, although frankly less interesting than the intriguingly procedural Act of Valor), but it arguably wasn’t made for me.

It also means more multiplex films that espouse a political or social viewpoint that I might not necessarily agree with and/or play to demographics that aren’t necessarily in my wheelhouse. It’s not that they can open The Dark Knight Rises to $160 million, it’s that they can open Magic Mike to $39m, The Great Gatsby to $50m, Gravity to $55m, and now American Sniper to a $90m four-day debut weekend. I hope they don’t get too bogged down in DC Comics movies, because their ability to distribute and market movies like this to numbers anywhere resembling this, not their ability to make another Batman movie, is what makes them valuable to the industry.

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