19 items from 2015
A month into its release, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” is breaking box office records and sparking a national debate over America’s role in Iraq and the legacy of a sniper whom some say is a liar and a killer.
The movie is poised to make $35 million this weekend, its third in release, and at $217 million has now overtaken “Saving Private Ryan” as the top-grossing war movie of all time.
- Matt Donnelly and Linda Ge
With the Super Bowl kicking off Sunday, it seems somehow appropriate that we’re looking at another “American Sniper” blowout at the box office this weekend.
The NFL’s biggest game has seen more than its share of lopsided contests over the years, and if Las Vegas set odds on the movies, the breakout hit from Warner Bros. would be a 35-point favorite.
- Todd Cunningham
The Iraq War saga has turned January, a month that for years has been a box office dead zone, into a hot spot. It’s blitzed the domestic box office for $200 million in 10 days, obliterating records for R-rated movies, holiday weekends and the month in the process. »
- Todd Cunningham
Final Update, Sunday Am: Warner Bros. is reporting that American Sniper will raise its domestic cume to $200.1M through Sunday after a massive $64.4M weekened at 3,705 theaters, the third-highest weekend ever in January, behind Sniper’s opening last weekend, and Avatar’s third Fss of $68.5M.
That figure, should it hold into tomorrow, marks a mere 28-percent slip – the best second-week hold for a wide release ever for a film that debuted with more than $85M. Previous to this, the best big debuts to hold an audience were 2004’s Shrek 2 (down 33 percent in its second frame) and 2002’s Spider-Man (down 38 percent). American Sniper is marching toward $300M, a mark only six Warner Bros. films have passed.
“Many exhibitors are hearing from their theater managers that the infrequent moviegoers who go only two to three times a year, are coming out to see this movie,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
Depp’s latest exercise in cinematic oddities, “Mortdecai,” left audiences cold, earning a paltry $4.1 million across 2,648 locations and coming in ninth on box office charts. It’s an embarrassing performance for a star of his caliber and comes on the heels of box office disasters such as “The Lone Ranger” and “Transcendence.”
“Something needs to click soon,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “It’s a couple of misses in a row and that always stings.”
“Mortdecai” cost $60 million to make and was backed by OddLot Entertainment and released by Lionsgate. It had been expected to gross in the neighborhood of $10 million.
Much of the Sunday afternoon box office quarterbacking will center on Depp’s deflating career, but “American Sniper’s” endurance was the true stunner. »
- Brent Lang
6th Update, Tuesday, 3 Pm: Rentrak Theatrical filed the weekend’s actuals with Warner Bros.’ American Sniper counting a four-week cume through yesterday of $110.4M. Talk about the spoils of war: American Sniper propelled the 2015 box office, in its first 19 days, 3.6% percent over the same frame last year with $667M. It stands to reason that this would be the highest-grossing four-day Mlk weekend of all-time with $248.5M after American Sniper broke a slew of records, read Eastwood’s career-high bow, best three-day opening ever during January and February. Previous Mlk record was 2009 with $231.5M when Sony comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop zoomed up a four-day bow of $39.2M. American Sniper had the biggest theater average of the four-day weekend with $30,100, followed by Sony Classic’s Still Alice, which chalked up $20,685 PTA or $248K in 12 venues.
The consensus is that American Sniper is going to hold for another two weekends. Wide releases »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
This article contains spoilers for American Sniper.
American Sniper stands to be the most financially profitable of this year's Best Picture Oscar contenders by a long way, having out-grossed most of the others' lifetime domestic totals in its first weekend on wide release.
The $90.2 million opening is the highest January opening of all time, more than doubling the opening weekend record set by Ride Along at the same time last year, and it's easily the strongest box office performer of director Clint Eastwood's career.
In short, it did the kind of business you would expect from a superhero movie, or a new instalment in an established franchise, and yet it's an R-rated war drama based on a true story. Irrespective of our thoughts on the film, that's a stunning début. »
It was back in 2013 when Spielberg was on board to oversee the project and at the time, Bradley Cooper was still attached to produce and star as Chris Kyle, the most decorated sniper in Us military history. Alas, the reasoning behind the director’s departure wasn’t disclosed, though reports did suggest that the prestigious filmmaker simply couldn’t engineer his vision of Kyle’s memoir based on the budget at the time.
Fast forward to the present day and The Hollywood Reporter has offered up our first clue as to what American Sniper could have been had Spielberg remained in the director’s chair. There are some considerable changes buried within the extract, specifically in relation to how the director »
- Michael Briers
Surpassing all targets, Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' multiple Oscar-nominated drama American Sniper smashed virtually every available record as it opened nationwide on the heels of its already record-breaking limited release. Easily topping the box office, the film took in an estimated $105.3 million for the four-day holiday weekend and has grossed $108.7 million to date and counting. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, and Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The film's spectacular opening marks an all-time high over the course of director Clint Eastwood's illustrious career. Among its many other milestones, American Sniper also broke records for a January weekend opening, including both three- and four-day weekends; the highest single day ever in January; the best four-day weekend for an R-rated film; and the biggest opening »
The film's unprecedented success obliterated forecasts and set numerous box-office records. It easily surpassedAvatar to become the biggest January weekend ever.
The resounding wide-release opening is also tops for the 84-year-old Eastwood, whose previous best weekend was the $29.5 million wide release of 2009's Gran Torino. And it, in one weekend, gives the Oscar best-picture race something it was lacking: a big ol' box-office hit.
American Sniper, nominated for six Academy Awards, immediately becomes the top grosser of the best-picture nominees. The previous biggest hit was Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel, which made $59.1 million in its entire run.
This was actually the third week of release for American Sniper, which played in just a handful of theaters for two weeks. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Surpassing all targets, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ multiple Oscar-nominated drama American Sniper smashed virtually every available record as it opened nationwide on the heels of its already record-breaking limited release. Easily topping the box office, the film took in an estimated $105.3 million for the four-day holiday weekend and has grossed $108.7 million to date and counting.
The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, and Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures
The film’s spectacular opening marks an all-time high over the course of director Clint Eastwood’s illustrious career. Among its many other milestones, American Sniper also broke records for a January weekend opening, including both three- and four-day weekends; the highest single day ever in January; the best four-day weekend for an R-rated film; and the biggest opening »
- Michelle McCue
Jake Coyle, AP Film Writer
New York (AP) - Clint Eastwood's R-rated Iraq War drama "American Sniper" opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend.
The film's unprecedented success obliterated forecasts and set numerous box-office records. It easily surpassed "Avatar" to become the biggest January weekend ever.
The resounding wide-release opening is also tops for the 84-year-old Eastwood, whose previous best weekend was the $29.5 million wide release of 2009's "Gran Torino. And it, in one weekend, gives the Oscar best-picture race something it was lacking: a big ol' box-office hit.
"American Sniper, nominated for six Academy Awards, immediately becomes the top grosser of the best-picture nominees. The previous biggest hit was Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel," which made $59.1 million in its entire run.
This was actually the third week of release for "American Sniper, »
- The Associated Press
Despite being about such weighty subjects as war and trauma, the Warner Bros. release played more like a comic book movie than an Oscar contender. It is on pace to earn an astounding $105 million over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, more than double the $48 million debut enjoyed by “Ride Along,” which represented the previous high-water mark.
“It was the perfect storm,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief. “This movie is going to have great legs and it’s going to continue to break records. It’s going to go down in history.”
Here’s a look at some of the records that “American Sniper” just established.
The Largest Clint Eastwood Box Office Weekend
- Brent Lang
America’s military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan remain deeply unpopular with the general public, but that pessimism isn’t preventing war films such as “American Sniper” and “Lone Survivor” from becoming box office successes.
“American Sniper,” a look at Navy Seal Chris Kyle, astounded in its wide-release debut, and is on track to gross $105 million over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. The Warner Bros. release put up those impressive numbers by appealing to a politically and geographically diverse audience.
“It’s packing them in across blue states and red states,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief. “Its’ playing well in big cities and in the heartland. This is about patriotism and all the things people say the country is lacking these days.”
- Brent Lang
Heartland heat, Oscar buzz and star Bradley Cooper give the Iraq War saga extra ammo
The electrifying $90.2 million wide opening of “American Sniper” – shattering records for the best January openings by tens of millions of dollars — stunned box office analysts and even distributor Warner Bros. Sunday.
The Clint Eastwood-directed Iraq War saga starring Bradley Cooper was on pace to top $100 million over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, uncharted territory for a movie at this time of year. It was »
- Todd Cunningham
“American Sniper” hit the bullseye, earning an astonishing $90.2 million in its debut weekend in wide release.
It is now on pace to upend records for the Martin Luther King holiday and for the month of January, pulling in roughly $105 million over the four-day period. It’s also a new high-water mark for director Clint Eastwood, whose previous weekend record was the $29.5 million wide release opening for 2008’s “Gran Torino.” At 84, he’s still got it.
- Brent Lang
With patriotic passion and Oscar buzz providing a double-barreled boost, the Iraq War saga “American Sniper” hit the bulls-eye at the box office with the biggest January opening ever in its nationwide expansion.
The Clint Eastwood-directed drama starring Bradley Cooper was at $90.2 million Sunday, distributor Warner Bros. reported. Its massive debut will more than double the former January mark for a three-day debut, and the R-rated Village Roadshow drama is on pace to top $100 million by Monday, the end of the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. »
- Todd Cunningham
Clint Eastwood.s American Sniper is getting some special treatment and is set to get time on the extra big screen. The biopic war film which features a bulked-up Bradley Cooper as the most lethal sniper in the U.S. military, released on Christmas day, and has received very high praise, including two BAFTA nominations. Now the film will be set on a larger stage when Warner Bros. Pictures expands the film from its limited release, and super-sizes it for IMAX on January 16. The film was not expected to hit IMAX screens and this marks the first collaboration for IMAX with the award-winning director. Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. President of domestic distribution announced the news of the digital remastering for IMAX, and the reasoning behind it in a statement this week. Entertainment Weekly reports Fellman's statement: "Mr. Eastwood has created an incredibly intense and emotional film that deserves to be »
Without Iron Man, Batman or James Bond to bolster ticket sales, the overall box office plunged 5.2% in 2014, topping out at $10.3 billion domestically. Audiences cooled to Hollywood offerings, voting with their feet as attendance dropped by an estimated 6% to 1.26 billion, the lowest figure in nearly two decades.
“This was the most flabbergasting year ever,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak. “The good news is that the movie business had a great year in 2013. A record breaker. The bad news was that in 2014, it was measured against that success.”
Although there were some blockbusters such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Lego Movie” and “Maleficent,” many of the big films and sequels didn’t give off as loud of a bang. Franchises such as “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Hunger Games” put up impressive global numbers, but showed some signs of age when they couldn’t match the domestic grosses of previous installments. »
- Brent Lang
19 items from 2015
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