American Sniper Takes Out Competition
Warner Bros. Pictures’ American Sniper broke out in a big way over the long MLK Day weekend with a massive $107.21 million in its first four days of wide release. The Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper had been building up major momentum leading up to its wide release and ultimately exploded out of the gate last weekend to a degree that nobody was expecting. With a three-day gross of $89.27 million, American Sniper easily established new opening weekend records for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and for the month of January as it outpaced the $41.52 million take of previous record holder, last year’s Ride Along, by an astounding 115 percent. With the addition of a very strong performance in three weeks of platform release, which helped build up buzz for the film, American Sniper grossed $110.64 million through Monday.
With no potential blockbuster performers arriving in the marketplace over the next two weeks, American Sniper is in position to continue to dominate the box office throughout the rest of January.
It was a tight race for second place between Paddington and The Wedding Ringer last weekend. While The Wedding Ringer placed in second over the three-day frame, Paddington moved into second place over the four-day frame.
Paddington took in respective three-day and four-day grosses of $18.97 million and $25.49 million. The family film from The Weinstein Co. debuted on the high end of expectations.
Sony Pictures’ The Wedding Ringer was off to a respectable start with respective three-day and four-day grosses of $20.65 million and $24.04 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. Potential for The Wedding Ringer was no doubt limited at least somewhat by the breakout performance of American Sniper with adult moviegoers.
On the heels of the previous weekend’s stronger than expected start 20th Century Fox’s Taken 3 was down three spots and a sharp 56.5 percent to land in fourth place with $17.05 million over the four-day weekend. Audience overlap with American Sniper has led to increased front-loading for Taken 3. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise has grossed $65.84 million in 11 days. That places the film a reasonable 25 percent behind the $87.80 million 11-day take of 2012’s Taken 2.Taken 3 grossed $14.72 million over the three-day frame.
Selma rounded out the weekend’s top five with a four-day take of $13.85 million. The Best Picture nominee from Paramount Pictures was up a healthy 22.5 percent over the previous weekend’s three-day performance. The film was helped out this weekend by the Martin Luther King holiday — Monday’s $5.07 million performance represented an 86.5 percent increase over Sunday — and by its Best Picture nomination. Selma has grossed $31.51 million after 11 days of wide release. While Selma is performing softer than was widely anticipated, the film is still having a respectable run thus far with its modest price tag in mind.Selma took in $8.78 million over the three-day frame.
Four-day holiday weekend grosses for other Best Picture nominees included $8.02 million for The Weinstein Co. ‘s The Imitation Game, playing in 1,611 locations; $1.87 million for Fox Searchlight’s Birdman, playing in 471 locations; and $1.18 million for Focus Features’ The Theory of Everything, playing in 509 locations. Respective current total grosses stand at $51.62 million for The Imitation Game, at $28.59 million for Birdman and at $27.49 million for The Theory of Everything.
Meanwhile, Universal Pictures’ Blackhat was dead on arrival last weekend with $4.49 million over the four-day frame. The Michael Mann directed film starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in 11th place and opened well below modest expectations. The decision to open Blackhat against American Sniper and one week after Taken 3 always seemed like a puzzling one and Blackhat simply couldn’t find an audience last weekend due in part to that decision. Long term prospects for Blackhat are bleak. Blackhat grossed $3.90 million over the three-day frame.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|3||N/A||The Wedding Ringer||$24.04M||$24.04M||1|
|6||3||Into the Woods||$8.71M||$116.46M||4|
|7||6||The Imitation Game||$8.02M||$51.62M||8|
|8||4||The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies||$5.98M||$245.66M||5|
|9||7||Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb||$5.29M||$106.24M||5|