What records did ‘American Sniper’ break?

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sniper’ smashes records with $90 million 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.The Oscar-nominated movie grossed $9.3 million over the weekend as it opened in a number of key markets, pushing its early foreign total to $25.4 million.“American Sniper,” Clint Eastwood’s devastating look at a heroic Navy SEAL, ripped record books to shreds when it racked up $90.2 million this weekend.

This year, the holiday comes a few days after Ava DuVernay’s Selma, a film that follows one of King’s great campaigns, failed to secure the expected number of Oscar nominations. In North America, Sniper — starring Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — is shattering records with a projected $105.2 million debut over the long MLK weekend. As you will recall, the omissions were made that bit more painful by the unexpectedly strong showing of Clint Eastwood’s mechanical American Sniper. Eastwood’s movie surprised the industry by reaping amounts usually not seen until summer weekends, helping kick off a year that’s expected to haul in at least $11 billion for the first time on the back of new entries from past successful franchises including “Star Wars,” “Terminator” and “Jurassic Park,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Rentrak. From Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, American Sniper launched to $3.6 million in the U.K., by far the biggest opening of Eastwood’s career as a director, and ahead of recent war films including Zero Dark Thirty and Green Zone.

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 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. 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 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, “American Sniper” benefited from Oscar nomination buzz. Eastwood boasts a strong following in Italy, where Sniper finished its third weekend with total earnings of $18.8 million, one of the best showings ever for a non-franchise title released in Italy by Warners. 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.

The Warner Bros. film entered the weekend after picking up Academy Award nominations on Thursday, including best picture and best actor for Bradley Cooper. 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 weekend marked the biggest box-office draw of Eastwood’s career, eclipsing the $29.5 million that “Gran Torino” captured in January 2009, Dergarabedian said.

Josh Gad and Kevin Hart’s The “Wedding Ringer” took second place with $21 million for the three-day weekend (an estimated $25 million for four days). 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. The film, based on the beloved bear star of the children’s books, scored well with critics (98 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (87 percent) alike. The drama, from Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive, has earned $51.5 million internationally, while its projected domestic total through Monday is $50.8 million (The Weinstein Co. is releasing the film in the U.S.).

The film garnered a 33 percent positive rating from critics on Rottentomatoes.com. “Paddington,” another new film, 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. The success of American Sniper confirms that older audiences will attend serious-minded films if certain buttons are pushed and certain flags are raised. Keep in mind that, at one stage, Marvel were so wary of the word “America” in certain territories that they pondered banishing it from the posters of the first Captain America film and titling that picture The First Avenger.

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