“American Sniper” is the real winner this Super Bowl weekend.
Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War drama will top the U.S. box office for the third consecutive weekend, easily overtaking a trio of new releases: “Project Almanac,” “Black or White” and “The Loft.” This is an unpopular weekend for new, big-budget entries as theater attendance is traditionally low on Sunday during the NFL championship game.
“Sniper” earned $10 million on Friday for a projected $30 million in its third weekend of wide release. If estimates hold, the film will be just under the $250 million mark by Sunday.
If the movie comes in above forecasts, as it tends to do, it could become the highest Super Bowl weekend grosser of all time. “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” earned that record in 2008 when it debuted to $31.1 million.
After a record-breaking wide opening over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the biopic about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle continues to reach new milestones. It became the highest-grossing war film of all time in North America, beating out “Saving Private Ryan” for the title ($216.5 million — not accounting for inflation).
“Project Almanac” was the runner-up on Friday at the U.S. box office with $3.2 million. However, the sci-fi adventure will likely fall to third, behind holdover “Paddington,” by Sunday.
The time-travel thriller from Paramount — produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes for $12 million — looks to bring in $8 million this weekend. “Almanac” was expected to finish the weekend in the $10 million to $12 million range.
It also opened day-and-date in Russia, Spain and New Zealand. The pic was supposed to hit theaters a year ago, but was delayed.
“Almanac,” starring Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista and Virginia Gardner, follows teens who build a time machine and try to change the world.
The Weinstein Co.’s talking-bear comedy “Paddington” scored $1.9 million on Friday, putting it behind a couple of new entries. It will climb to second as it shoots for $8.6 million this weekend, thereby crossing $50 million.
“Black or White” opened to third on Friday with $2.3 million. However, it will wrap up the weekend in fourth place with an estimated $6 million.
The Relativity drama is centered on a custody battle between Kevin Costner’s and Octavia Spencer’s characters over their granddaughter. Costner helped finance the film (inspired by true events) with Rod Lake.
The pic, which premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, earned a promising A- CinemaScore.
“The Loft” fared the worst from the newcomers, launching to ninth place with $1.2 million and looking to finish the weekend in 10th. The $14 million thriller, which has had several different distributors before moving to Open Road, is an English-language remake of director Erik Van Looy’s Dutch film.
It tells the story of five men who share a penthouse used for extramarital affairs, and stars James Marsden and Karl Urban. Matthias Schoenaerts reprises his role from the original 2008 film.
Universal’s “The Boy Next Door” rounded out the Friday top five with $2.1 million. It eyes $6 million in its sophomore weekend, raising its total haul to just under $25 million.