It seems like a broken record by now. American Sniper wins yet another weekend in cinemas since expansion from limited to wide release three weeks ago. The film is a few million shy from $250 million. This weekend it grossed an estimated $31.85 million. That figure did a few things. It has made it the sixth highest grossing film in the U.S. for 2014 releases. That’s right. Technically, Eastwood’s docudrama on the life of sniper Chris Kyle was released onto a few screens before the end of 2014, but it is making the bulk of its earnings in 2015. American Sniper has also broken the record for the dollar amount earned for a movie on Super Bowl weekend. The previous record holder was Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1 million). While Eastwood’s war drama fell 50.7% this weekend from last, it is sketchy if it will make it four consecutive weeks atop the box office with a new SpongeBob SquarePants movie, Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son looking to make a run for the top spot when they open on Friday. My money is on the sponge squeezing out as box office victor.
As it stands currently, The Weinstein Company’s Paddington has the edge for the number two spot with $8.505 million, just above new time-traveling release Project Almanac, produced by Michael Bay. Other newcomer Black & White, starring Kevin Costner, couldn’t crack double-digit earnings either and finished in fourth with $6.4 million.
With the Academy Awards right around the corner, the only film making noise in the top ten, aside from Sniper, is Weinstein’s The Imitation Game. It has now grossed $67.9 million in the U.S. That figure is enough to leapfrog Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel as 2014’s best domestic indie performer.
Taken 3 is on pace to be the lowest grossing of the series, so perhaps this means the final nail is in the coffin and the franchise will go away. Oh, and there was some movie called The Loft that opened. It wasn’t screened for critics and moviegoers seemed to care less. The thriller with a surprise twist didn’t even crack $3 million.
A24’s A Most Violent Year finally opened wide on 818 screens, but could only net $1.7 million to bring its total to $3.1 million so far. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has hit $915 million worldwide, making for the second-highest grossing film of the year, but it likely won’t hit the $1 billion mark, unlike Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Probably the most interesting stat of the weekend was the performance of HBO’s Game of Thrones in IMAX. The special event, which included the last two episodes of the fourth season and a five-minute extended preview for the upcoming fifth season played at 205 locations and made $1.5 million. With a $7.3k per-screen average, it bettered everything in the top ten except for American Sniper.
A full breakdown of the top ten below.
01. American Sniper — $31.85 Million ($248.9M)
02. Paddington — $8.505 Million ($50.5M)
03. Project Almanac — $8.5 Million
04. Black or White — $6.4 Million
05. The Boy Next Door — $6 Million ($24.6M)
06. The Wedding Ringer — $5.7 Million ($48.1M)
07. The Imitation Game — $5.17 Million ($67.95M)
08. Taken 3 — $3.65 Million ($81.35M)
09. Strange Magic — $3.4 Million ($9.89M)
10. The Loft — $2.8 Million
Tags: American Sniper, box office, Game of Thrones, Paddington, Taken 3, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Imitation Game