Widow of ‘American Sniper’ author curtails interviews amid controversy | News Entertainment

Widow of ‘American Sniper’ author curtails interviews amid controversy

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ astounds with $105.3M over MLK weekend.

The widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is facing growing blowback over her late husband’s bestselling memoir, “American Sniper,” now a hit movie and recently the subject of a defamation case by former Minnesota Gov. For the three-day weekend, the Clint Eastwood movie that stars Bradley Cooper as the screen version of the true-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle earned $105.3 million. “You have to do a double take,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with the box-office tracking firm Rentrak. “We’re not accustomed to seeing those kinds of numbers in January.” We’re also not entirely used to watching as a mainstream movie turns into a firefight on social media, but that also happened as the weekend unfolded.‘American Sniper’ had the largest opening ever for the month of January, with a box office take of an estimated $105 million over four days this 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.Clint Eastwood’s Oscar nominated film American Sniper has stormed to the top of the world box office, taking just under $100million over the weekend. Fans on Twitter and Facebook expressed their support for the film in mostly positive ways, though there was some ugliness, too, with racial and religious slurs and threats of violence in the mix. Taya Kyle had planned to give interviews this week to promote the movie and her Feb. 8 appearance at Beth El Synagogue’s “Heroes Among Us” series, a major event at the Minneapolis temple, with tickets ranging from $36 to $300.

No one saw this coming,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst for Rentrak, a global media tracking firm based in Portland, Ore. “[P]eople are afraid of the continuing wave of terrorist attacks, and they’re looking for heroes,” says Wheeler Winston Dixon, co-editor of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “ ‘American Sniper’ is a really interesting film because it shows both the horror of war, and also depicts the toll that this conflict takes on the soldiers who fight in it,” says Mr. Pictures NEW YORK (AP) — Clint Eastwood’s R-rated Iraq War drama “American Sniper” opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend. 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 broke the previous record set by Cloverfield in 2008 for its performance on Friday, and then beat James Cameron’s 2010 epic Avatar (which made $68.5million) for the most taken over the entire weekend.

A canny marketing strategy that banked on a bit of Oscar love helped (the movie grabbed six nominations Thursday), as did a bit of distance from the peak of the fighting in Iraq where Kyle served, some observers said. But despite its critical success and multiple Academy Award nominations, the movie is causing some rumblings around Tinseltown as some wonder if a movie portraying an American as an unrepentant killer of Iraqis should be celebrated. 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. Eastwood’s film is up for an Oscar for Best Picture, pitting it against The Imitation Game, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash. No, cowards are people who didn’t have the guts to serve, and are happy to sit back in a free and protected country and call our service members cowards.

In some ways, though, it’s as simple as this: “American Sniper” turns out to be the movie that audiences want, or maybe need, to see now, in 2015, with the official wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down but the threat and images of terror still vivid. “Creatively, it’s just a terrific movie,” said Tom Nunan, a longtime studio executive and producer who also teaches in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. “It’s based on a remarkable best-seller by Chris Kyle. The resounding wide-release opening is also tops for the 84-year-old Eastwood, whose previous best weekend was the $29.5 million wide release of 2009’s “Gran Torino.

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. And it, in one weekend, gives the Oscar best-picture race something it was lacking: a big ol’ box-office hit. “American Sniper, nominated for six Academy Awards, immediately becomes the top grosser of the best-picture nominees. After proposing that the Star Tribune interview Taya Kyle before her visit to the synagogue, event co-chair Sarah Gruber wrote back Monday: “Her reps just called me and apparently due to some comments made by Michael Moore, they are cutting off her press. He and others tick off several reasons, in addition to timing of the Oscar nominations, for the box office success of “American Sniper.” The Best Actor nominee, Bradley Cooper, has been on a roll after a slew of popular movies, from “Wedding Crashers” (2005) to “The Hangover” trilogy (2009-2013).

The movie has reportedly been praised by the military for its portrayal of Kyle, who was credited for more than 100 confirmed kills during his military service. They will allow us to schedule some interviews but only related to promoting our event. “Because of this, any questions related to the current murder trial [involving the disturbed U.S. veteran who killed Kyle] and the Ventura trial are off the table.” “All members of the military — seaman to admiral, private to general, are heroes in my book,” Beth El Rabbi Avi S.

Warner Bros. “mounted a relentless and effective marketing campaign that perfectly capitalized on the film’s themes and performances,” Dergarabedian says. He also notes that the studio limited “ the availability of the movie for the first three weekends, [which] built up a demand.” Filmmaker Michael Moore, an Oscar voter and former Academy Awards governor for the documentary branch, tweeted on Sunday, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2.

Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh was charged with one count of capital murder and two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Kyle and Chad Littlefield. 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. And as Americans, we honor those who have served — packaged with all of their misgivings, should there be any — as heroes among us.” In a federal trial last summer, Ventura won a $1.8 million verdict from the Kyle estate after convincing a jury that Chris Kyle had defamed him by writing that he decked Ventura in a bar after he made disparaging remarks about SEALs. Still, the Internet throughout the weekend saw plenty of arguments over whether he was a hero or a murderer, which in typical online fashion involved plenty of ugliness. “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some … Kyle and Littlefield reportedly were helping Routh cope with post-traumatic stress disorder when he allegedly shot and killed both men before fleeing in a pickup belonging to Kyle.

Dergarabedian said “American Sniper” resonated with audiences craving a celebration of valor, courage and patriotism. “American Sniper,” once pegged for release in late 2015, was moved up to qualify for this year’s Oscars. John Borger, her attorney, said Monday that he has told her it’s best not to talk about the legal aspects of the case, which is currently on appeal to the 8th U.S. After Eastwood’s other 2014 release, “Jersey Boys,” struggled in its June release, totaling $47 million, “American Sniper” — a $58 million co-production between Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow — was tossed into this year’s Christmas mix. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?” Dixon sees it differently, saying, “far from being escapist, ‘American Sniper’ engages in the heat of the moment.” Mr. Perhaps the weekend’s only disappointment was the debut of the Chris Hemsworth-starring “Blackhat,” which earned $4 million for the weekend ($4.6 million for the four-day).

The film landed two Oscar nominations on Thursday, including best picture, but the snubbing of its star, David Oyelowo, and director, Ava DuVernay, drew widespread outrage.

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