Box Office: ‘American Sniper’ Stuns With $105.3 Million MLK Weekend

American Sniper

American Sniper” took a match to all sorts of box office records on Monday, recording a massive $105.3 million wide-release opening over the four-day Martin Luther King weekend.

That detonated the prior holiday record holder, “Ride Along,” which kicked off with $48.6 million. The largest January box office weekend previously belonged to “Avatar” and its $68.5 million haul from 2010. Clint Eastwood’s biopic about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle doubled projections, which pegged a weekend in the $42 million to $50 million range.

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow produced the Oscar-nominated drama for roughly $60 million. It premiered in a handful of theaters on Christmas and has slowly built up word of mouth in the ensuing weeks, before launching on 3,555 screens. It’s also inspired lively debate about its accuracy. Any controversy around the film isn’t hurting its commercial prospects. “American Sniper” now has the largest weekend for an R-rated drama, topping “The Passion of the Christ,” and the second largest weekend for an R-rated film behind “The Matrix Reloaded.” It shattered Eastwood’s previous high-water mark, the $29.5 million wide-release opening of “Gran Torino” in 2009.

“Paddington” was the third place finisher over the three-day weekend but will likely sneak ahead of “The Wedding Ringer” when Monday’s grosses are taken into account. The Weinstein Co. release opened to $25.2 million from 3,303 screens for the four-day period. The studio picked up U.S. distribution rights from Studiocanal, which financed the $55 million adaptation of Michael Bond’s beloved series about a talking bear.

That left “The Wedding Ringer,” a Kevin Hart comedy about a mercenary best man, in third position, with $24.5 million from 3,003 locations. The Sony/Screen Gems production cost an economical $23 million to produce. It’s the company’s fourth collaboration with Hart to debut to more than $20 million, and it’s the largest January opening for an R-rated comedy in history. After hits such as “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man,” Hart may be the most consistent comic performer working today.

Pity poor Michael Mann. “The Insider” auteur’s latest, “Blackhat” — a look at cyber terrorism starring Chris Hemsworth — crashed and burned with $4.4 million from 2,567 North American theaters. Legendary backed the $70 million production, and Universal Pictures is distributing the film.

Last weekend’s champ, “Taken 3,” fell sharply in its sophomore round. The action sequel pulled in $17.4 million, bringing its total to $66.2 million.

“Selma,” Paramount’s Civil Rights Movement drama, used Oscar buzz and the national holiday to capture fifth place with $11.5 million. The story of the voting rights marches of 1965 has earned $29.2 million since debuting last month.

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  1. stevenmillan says:

    The monstrous success of this film easily owns and buries Jesse Ventura,for I’m surprised that both Clint Eastwood and Chris Kyle’s Dad didn’t threaten Jesse after the relentless way he sued Chris widow since Jesse will eventually get his comeuppance(sooner or later),as will the jury who foolishly voted in his favor.

  2. preuser says:

    going to see it in about an hour I’ll get back to you all I’m sure it will good !

  3. Casper says:

    Seth Rogen and Michael Moore are jealous. Everything they make is silly. They can’t hold Clint Eastwood’s and Bradley Cooper’s jock and know it.

  4. Looks like the low class trash seth rogen and other leftwing vermin didn’t like the movie. Seth, stick to fart and vomit jokes, that’s on par with your intellect.

  5. Ben says:

    What I don’t see anywhere acknowledged in the success of this film is the incredible trailer and tv spots promoting the film. They have a tangible air of suspense, terrific pacing. A lot of well reviewed movies fall flat but crowds came out in force for this one. Big time credit to marketing.

  6. jharvey6 says:

    I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps. Training as an 0321 by training and other things after that. My father was a Marine at Chosin Reservoir. All of my grandfathers fought in every war that this country has been in. My fifth great grandfather was at valley forge with Washington. For some reason NONE of us died in those wars, we all came home. When I was watching green berets with john wayne one day, a few years before he died. There was a scene where david jansen hands john wayne a dead sgt’s gun. He said, “It’s a funny thing, a fella takes one of these into battle and by the grace of of god he comes out in once piece….carries a strange sense of guilt the rest of his life..”. I saw tears come to my fathers eyes after that scene. I knew why, because it was the truth. Everyone who has gone into battle and taken a life, one he see that he has taken; it’s takes a piece of his life and humanity. It leaves you with an overwhelming sense of guilt. A man like chris kyle saved many lives, but in his mind that will never soothe the guilt he felt for each one that he took and knew he took. Many more than the average soldier would. And not from the seat in some control room miles from the battlefield. We all fought for people like Michael Moore to have the right to say what he wants. But we know the truth. Sheeple like him never will…..

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Michael Moore is a buffoon and the recent gunplay tragedy proves him wrong as to how mistaken he is about Canada. Or is it perhaps that Canada cannot escape the spillover gun influence that the USA exerts??? He is an embarrassment to the Left as Limbo the Cheese is . . . or SHOULD BE to Conservatives.

  7. Rob says:

    Amazing film. You could hear a pin drop during it. after, it was like a funeral procession.

  8. Al says:

    Way to go, Eastwood. Now, we’ll see “patriot” snipers more and more in the future, all over the world!. The public looks at it like they’re playing a video game; but this foisting of violence, violence and more violence will take a terrible toll on the American psyche.

  9. Marisa says:

    Thank you for your service Chris Kyle. You have selflessly served freedom and protected the innocent from these Islamic Cowards.

    Speaking of cowards. Seth Rogen & Those idiot freaks like fatass Mikey-stuff-my-face-with-more-food-Moore, has no clue what Patriotism is. I wish he would go fight for the enemy so we could end his stupidity.

    God Bless our Troops!

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      PREUSED, mmmaybe check a globe next time prior to posting??? It isn’t possible to drive a car from here to Syria.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Marisa, “Islamic cowards”??? Let’s give them our our high-tech heat-guided missiles and they can give us their car bombs??? Who’s the real coward???

      How about fatasss stuff-my-face-with-more-food Sean Inanity and Limbo the Cheese??? Check the mote in your eye first.

    • preuser says:

      Almost forgot …..put Seth Rogen and Barrack Obama in the Vega with Michael Moore, Sharpton too
      if they can all fit in there, if not put them all in a rusty old Oldsmobile or Caddie !

  10. Tim says:

    Al Sharpton wants all box office receipts to be revamped so that Selma is listed as the biggest ‘African American’ movie of the week.

  11. Very good movie. You can easily see how a government and the media can easily manipulate people into believing falsehoods. Take for example that the film links 9/11 to Iraq when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. I am guessing the people who made the film is taking it for granted that the audience would know now that 9/11 was conducted by Saudi’s trained in Afghanistan financed by the Saudi’s Poor Chris Kyle and people like him were sent to face hell base on lies by the Bush Administration aided by the media.

  12. So happy to see American Sniper has done so great.

  13. macd says:

    To Glenn C.-

    Let’s see . . .

    White Male Director + White Male Star = BOXOFFICE DISASTER

    What the general public doesn’t want!

    BLACKHAT

  14. Glenn C. says:

    Let’s see…
    White Male Director + White Male Star = BOX OFFICE SUCCESS!!!!!!
    What the general public wants!
    That’s it!

    • jdshFLKjdhflksjfhlkasjdhflkajsdhf says:

      Glenn, they’ve made a movie for you too. It’s called Brokeback Mountain. See, everyone gets what they want and are happy! It all balances out.

    • Marisa says:

      Being of mixed races (Latina & Black) you offend those of us that have family serving our country!

      • preuser says:

        Marisa….., you know there are only 2 kinds of people ………. Italians and those that wish they were! ☺

        just kidding good comment there!

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