American Sniper Breaks January Box Office Records
American Sniper broke box office records in its first weekend in wide release. After three weeks of extremely limited showings, the Clint Eastwood-directed film, starring Bradley Cooper as real-life military sharpshooter Chris Kyle, finally became available nationwide, coincidentally right after the film scored a Best Picture Oscar nod, as well as a nomination for Cooper.
Movie fans are turning out in droves to see it over the four-day holiday weekend, leading American Sniper to gross a projected $99.1 million, bringing its total to $105.2 million, even though it was playing in just four theaters before Friday. The $99.1 million figure is more than enough to topple several cinema standings. The film scored the best three-day opening ever for a January release, and the biggest January weekend ever. If the absolute final numbers go up even more, which won’t be known for another day or two, it could become the largest R-rated four-day opening in history.
The Kevin Hart–Josh Gad comedy The Wedding Ringer opened in second place with $24.6 million, while another new flick, the children’s film Paddington, was right behind with $24.1 million. Last weekend’s champ, Taken 3, hit $16.8 million for the #4 spot.
Selma, which also received a Best Picture nomination for the Academy Awards, took in $10.3 million on this Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, snagging fifth place. It was followed by Into the Woods and The Imitation Game, both of which rounded to $8.9 million. Meanwhile, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies grabbed the eighth position with $5.9 million.
Rounding out the Top 10 were Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb ($5.2 million) and the Oscar-snubbed Unbroken ($5 million). What did you see this weekend?