Weekend Box Office: ‘American Sniper’ Crashes Super Bowl Weekend Record With $31.85M; ‘Paddington,’ ‘Project Almanac’ Tie for Second

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Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in “American Sniper” | Warner Bros. Photo

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow execs must be super happy right about now. This is the third weekend of impressive results for “American Sniper,” Clint Eastwood’s biopic about famed sniper Chris Kyle.

With $31.85M, the compelling war drama makes box office history as the highest-grossing film ever over Super Bowl weekend. The Big Game weekend is historically a daunting one for movies, and “American Sniper” has eclipsed “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert’s” first weekend of $31.12M. The concert flick held the previous record for Super Bowl weekend.

The cumulative total for “American Sniper” is just under $250M with $248.9M through six weekends. I’m sure the controversy stirred up by Michael Moore and others has only helped the war flick.

According to some reports, “Sniper’s” success is bolstered by audiences who rarely go to the movies. Warner Bros. continues to hear from theaters that his demographic is flocking to see the film. No one expected the Bradley Cooper starrer to do this well, and insiders expect the film to total out between $325M and $340M.

Personally, I loved it, calling the powerful story not only one of the best war films ever made, but one of the best films ever made. Clint Eastwood does it again. Read my review here.

Meanwhile, TWC/Dimension’s “Paddington” and Paramount’s “Project Almanac” tied for second place at $8.5M, with the adorable bear just slightly ahead. The family film based on the classic children’s story will face competition next weekend from Paramount’s “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.” If “Paddington” can stay the course against the Nickelodeon feature, it could rally beyond $70M at the domestic box office. Good family films are hard to come by these days, but I absolutely loved “Paddington,” which is delightful in every way. Check out my review here.

Paramount’s “Project Almanac” (read my review here) was intended to mirror the success that Fox had with teens during 2012’s Super Bowl weekend, when another found-footage teen movie, “Chronicle” scored $22M its opening weekend. “Almanac” had a production cost of $12M and drew 55 percent male vs. 45 percent female.

Relativity’s “Black or White” (review here), a racial drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, opened in fourth place with just $6.46M at 1,823 theaters. Exit polls for the Mike Binder-directed film were mostly older females with 64 percent women, 36 percent male, and 78 percent aged 25+. Ethnic breakdown was 53 percent Caucasian, 30 percent African American, 9 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent Asian and other ethnicities.

Open Road’s thriller “The Loft” landed in the tenth place slot with $2.879M at 1,841 theaters. The loss was minimal, as the film was part of a service deal for Open Road. Demographics were split at 50/50 male-female with 53 percent of audiences older than 25.

Universal’s “The Boy Next Door” (review here) was down 59 percent during its second weekend, with $6.09M at 2,615 theaters and a total cumulative of $24.7M.

“Game of Thrones” fans came out for Warner Bros.’ IMAX release of the HBO fantasy series, which screened the final two episodes of Season Four, “The Watchers On The Wall” and “The Children,” as well as a five-minute tease of Season Five. The film generated a per theater of $7,322 in 15th place, with $1.5M at 205 locations.

Here are the top 10 films per studio for weekend of Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2015:

1) American Sniper (WB), 3,885 theaters (+180)/ $10M Fri. /16.7M Sat.(+67%)/ 5M Sun. (-70%)/3-Day: $31.8M (-51%)/Total cume: $248.9M/ Wk 6

2/3) Paddington (TWC), 3,303 theaters (-52) / $1.9M Fri. /$4.5M Sat. (+134%)/ $2M Sun. (-55%)/ 3-Day: 8.5M (-31%) / Total cume: $50.5M /Wk 3

Project Almanac (Par), 2,893 theaters  / $3.1M Fri. / 3.8M Sat (+21%)/ $1.5M Sun. (-61%)/ 3-Day: $8.5M/ Wk 1

4) Black Or White (REL), 1,823 theaters  / $2.2M Fri./ $2.9M Sat. (+32%)/ $1.1M Sun (-60%)/ 3-Day: $6.4M / Wk 1

5) The Boy Next Door (UNI), 2,615 theaters (+13)/ $2.1M Fri./ $2.9M Sat. (+38%)/ $1M Sun. (-64%)/3-Day: $5.7M/ Total cume: $24.6M/ Wk 2

6) The Wedding Ringer (Sony), 2,820 theaters (-183)/ $1.9M Fri / $3M Sat. (+58%)/ 720K Sun. (-76%)/ 3-Day: $5.7M (-50%)/ Total cume: $48.1M /Wk 3

7) The Imitation Game (TWC), 2,402 theaters (+377) / $1.6M Fri./ $2.6M Sat. (+64%)/ $924K Sun. (-65%)/3-Day: $5.1M (-26%)/Total cume: $67.9M / Wk 10

8) Taken 3 (Fox), 2,533 theaters (-376)/$1.1M Fri /$1.9M Sat. (+66%)/ 495K  Sun.(-75%)/ 3-Day: $3.6M (-51%)/Total cume: $81.3M/ Wk 4

9) Strange Magic (DIS), 3,020 theaters (0)  / $768K Fri./ 1.8M Sat. (+136%) / $860K Sun. (-53%)/ 3-Day: $3.4M (-38%)/Total cume: $9.89M/ Wk 2

10) The Loft (OPRD), 1,841 theaters  / $1.1M Fri. /$1.2M Sat. (+3%)/ 486K Sun. (-60%)/ 3-Day: $2.8M/ Wk 1


11) Selma (Par), 1,714 theaters (-332) / $855K Fri. / $1.3M Sat. (-52%)/ $515K Sun. (-60%) 3-Day: $2.67M (-51%)/Total cume: $43.6M / Wk 6

Birdman (FSL) 976 theaters (+143)/ $455K Fri./$ 787K Sat. (+73%)/ 273K Sun. -65%)/3-day cume: $1.5M (-22%)/Total cume: $33.2M/Wk 16

Game Of Thrones (WB), 205 theaters / $686K Fri. /$575K Sat(-16%)/ 240K Sun. (-58%) 3-Day: $1.5M/ Wk 1

Mortdecai (LGF), 2,648 theaters (0)/ $476K Fri. / $704K Sat. (-48%)/ $245K Sun. (-65%)/ 3-Day: $1.4M (-66%)/Total cume: $6.8M/Wk 2

The Theory of Everything (FOC), 858 theaters (+349)/ $296K Fri. / $506K Sat. (+71%)/ $198K Sun. (-61%)/  3-day cume: $1M (-21%)/Total cume: $30.6M / Wk 13

Whiplash (SPC) 525 theaters (-42)/3-day cume: $720K (-9%)/Total cume: $8.6M/Wk 17

Black Sea (FOC) 313 theaters (+308)/$162K Fri. / $216K Sat. (+33%)/ $86K Sun (-60%)/ 3-day cume: $464K (+1132%)/Total cume: $516K/Wk 2

Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.


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