‘American Sniper’ Passes ‘Hunger Games’ as Top Grossing 2014 Release

American Sniper Anatomy of a scene

American Sniper” is the highest-grossing 2014 domestic release.

The R-rated drama has made $337.2 million since debuting in a handful of theaters last December. That puts it ahead of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” and its $336.8 million haul as the top film to debut last year.

With a budget of $58.8 million, the biopic of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle represents a substantial return on Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s investment.

“The heroic story of Chris Kyle just hit the zeitgeist,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president. “It doesn’t matter your politics — it’s a story that just touched everybody personally.”

Globally, “American Sniper” won’t be able to match the $1.1 billion that “Transformers: Age of Extinction” pulled in, but it has been a robust performer, particularly given that films with patriotic subject matter don’t tend to travel well abroad. It has made more than $140 million in foreign markets.

“American Sniper” easily outstrips director Clint Eastwood’s previous releases, giving the 84-year-old the biggest hit of his career. It’s also star Bradley Cooper’s highest-grossing domestic release.

“American Sniper” is an unlikely blockbuster — there are no fantastical elements, and the film deals with the unpopular Iraq War, something that has been box office poison for pictures like “Rendition” and “In the Valley of Elah.” It also marks the first time since 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan” that a realistic drama and a R-rated film has been the top domestic release.

The film had its detractors, with some critics decrying the picture for whitewashing the life story of Kyle and for lionizing sharpshooters. However, the film played well in both red and blue states, with audience members responding to the film’s depiction of Kyle as a dedicated serviceman and hero.

“American Sniper” hadn’t even been scheduled for release last year. It was originally slated to debut in Christmas of 2015, but Eastwood finished editing the picture early.

“It was a brilliant film from a brilliant director,” said Goldstein. “All the stars aligned perfectly.”

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  1. Kevin says:

    ‘American Sniper’ Passes ‘Hunger Games’ as Top Grossing 2014 Release”

    And then the article goes on to say:

    “Globally, “American Sniper” won’t be able to match the $1.1 billion that “Transformers: Age of Extinction” pulled in.”

    According to Box Office Mojo “American Sniper” has Worldwide: $500,209,000 M
    That’s less than half of the Transformers movie!

    50 Shades of Grey has = Worldwide: $527,748,000M

    They should use an asterisk if they’re only going to count dollars earned in North America.

  2. Adam says:

    Wait, I am confused. Sure, it released in 10 theaters in 2014 but are they really counting all the money it made in 2015 when it was actually released in 2015? What kind of garbage is this?

  3. nwctn^%$#@! says:

    Good for Clint Eastwood!!!!!!!!

    American Sniper wins a Financial Academy Award.

  4. diyana says:

    American killer-glorifying, islamophobia-encouraging propaganda film makes big bucks?? what a shocker

    • Bob says:

      Same ole boring nonsense you are spewing Diyana

    • Julienne says:

      So beheading children and raping and killing women is okay with you? Your Al Queda, Islamic Extremist peeps you are animals. America has saved many countries from extermination, by the exact animals you are in support of.

      • diyana says:

        Not once did I claim to support the horrendous actions of extremists. My disapproval of Chris Kyle does not equate to sympathizing with terrorists.

    • JimmyFitz says:

      The people you’re slamming, are dying and defending your right to talk like an unappreciative little brat. In any of those the countries you’re talking about, you’d be thrown in prison or stoned to death, by your Islamic Terrorist buddies, you’re supporting.

      • diyana says:

        I am not American, so no, they are not “defending my right to talk”. I am 100% against terrorism, but I am also against the motives that sent US troops into countries like Afghanistan and Iraq post-911 to slaughter thousands of innocent civilians. The war efforts have only served to ravage Middle Eastern countries and create an unstable environment where terrorists are able to thrive.
        I can respect soldiers defending their country, but Chris Kyle was a murderer who enjoyed killing innocent people. Meanwhile, “American Sniper” paints him as an undiluted hero. You’d have to be willfully blind or just ignorant to view Kyle as the pure hero that the film paints him out as.

  5. Lex says:

    AMERICAN SNIPER is a remarkable film. Bravo Mr. Eastwood & Mr. Cooper on making a movie that America has embraced.

  6. JimmyFitz says:

    I am a Filmmaker (34 Years) and Fan of successful films. If you are not, you won’t last long in the Entertainment Industry.

    “American Sniper” was a stellar piece of work. Congratulations to Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, the Cast & Crew. You guys made a great film.

    Only extremely Liberal left-leaning numbskulls would deny that.

  7. Romi says:

    Clint Eastwood’s best work up to date.

  8. Film Runner says:

    The generic propaganda film beating out the nuanced film examining propaganda. There’s something deeply sad in that.

    • Sylvia says:

      Spoken by an anti-American, G.I, hating, socialist Hollywood liberal. And you guys wonder why the rest of the country hates Hollywood. Laughable and oh so predictable.

      • Trish Lu says:

        How is a movie that rips off Japan’s ‘BATTLE ROYALE 2: Requiem’, turning it into dumbed down PG13 “Tweenie” fare, considered to be “nuanced”?

      • Genius Jones says:

        Oh that terrible Hollywood… that made the movie, and released the movie, and nominated the movie for Best Picture and multiple other awards, and nominated Clint Eastwood for awards… again. They’re the worst and no doubt have it in for you personally.

        And the dude above criticized a dramatization film. Liking the dramatization, or not, has zero inherent relationship to loving or hating a country and soldiers. Dial it back a bit. It’s a movie.

  9. Alexander says:

    Kind of a cop-out landmark, since that movie made most of its money in 2015.

    • Julienne says:

      It only matters what year it was released in. You’re obviously not in the Industry. Any other questions?

    • Film Runner says:

      They just snuck it in early to try to win Oscars (which it thankfully failed at).

      • PP says:

        Failed or not, in a predictable and political awards made in EEUU… You NEVER going to do a movie… just another of a million sofa critics. “Birdman” is a bad movie, but is what liberals call “art”. God “bless” America, and their rotten society that does not support or their own values.

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