‘American Sniper’ Looking at Impressive $50 Million-Plus Weekend

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” has solidified its status as a smash hit, topping expectations with a second weekend heading for $50 million-plus at 3,705 sites.

Some early estimates pegged the second “Sniper” weekend at close to $60 million, which would leave the U.S. cume within hailing distance of $200 million. Warner Bros. offered a more cautious estimate in the high 40s, noting the unpredictability of Saturday’s numbers.

In any case, the Iraq War drama is showing impressive legs, with a decline of less than 50% following its record-setting wide opening over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekemd.

“Sniper” was so strong that it will probably triple the take of the next film on the chart — Jennifer Lopez’s thriller “The Boy Next Door.” And in a case of collateral damage, Lionsgate’s “Mortdecai” was dead on arrival with a dismal $6 million weekend for the Johnny Depp comedy, about half of what had been expected.

Warner Bros. “Sniper” continues to defy forecasters, who were projecting a weekend in the vicinity of $40 million. With $185 million banked by Sunday, it will have topped the U.S. total of all but 15 titles released last year, including “How to Train Your Dragon 2” at $177 million and “Gone Girl” at $168 million.

Popular on Variety

“Sniper” held up well in weekday showings with $9.9 million on Tuesday, $7.6 million on Wednesday and $7.7 million on Thursday, lifting its U.S. total to $135.8 million.

Universal’s “The Boy Next Door” was headed to a respectable $16 million at 2,602 sites including $500,000 at 1,869 locations in Thursday night showings. The Universal title, produced by Blumhouse, had been expected to bring in between $12 million to $15 million for its opening weekend.

The Weinstein Co.’s second weekend of talking-bear comedy “Paddington” was pegged to wind up at around $13 million, followed by Sony’s sophomore session of Josh Gad-Kevin Hart comedy “The Wedding Ringer” at about $11 million and Fox’s third weekend of “Taken 3” with $7 million.

Disney’s “Strange Magic,” a computer-animated film about goblins and elves produced by Lucasfilm, was battling “Mortdecai” for sixth place with about $6 million.

With “Sniper” racking up six Oscar nominations and dominating public discussion, the R-rated “Mortdecai” wasn’t able to generate any traction. The caper comedy, which carries a price tag of around $60 million, was beset by mostly negative reviews and Depp’s diminishing star power.

More Film

  • Under the Stars of Paris

    Claus Drexel on 'Under the Stars of Paris,' and Prostitution Documentary 'The Amazons'

    One of the widest-selling titles at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous, a showcase of French cinema that wraps Monday, is Claus Drexel’s “Under the Stars of Paris.” The French-German speaks to Variety about the pic and his upcoming prostitution documentary “The Amazons.” “Under the Stars of Paris” centers on a homeless woman – played by Catherine Frot [...]

  • Farewell Movie 2019

    Five Reasons 'The Farewell' Flopped In China

    “The Farewell” has flopped in China with a dismal $261,000 opening weekend gross, and a cumulative of $580,000 so far, once again proving the difficulty of creating content that resonates equally on both sides of the Pacific — even when a story is set in China, features Chinese talent, and unfolds primarily in Mandarin. Although [...]

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    How 'Bad Boys for Life' Escaped the Franchise Revival Curse

    Sony’s “Bad Boys” franchise proved a 17-year gap between installments means little for the right property. “Bad Boys for Life,” reuniting stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as drug-busting cops, beat expectations and debuted to a stellar $68 million in North America over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The action comedy now stands [...]

  • Tony Hall, Director General of the

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content