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Weekend Wrap-Up: Sniper Earns Even More Records

January 21st, 2015

American Sniper poster

American Sniper opened wide after a record-breaking run on limited release and it topped expectations. I know, that's an understatement, but in my defense, I don't think there's anybody that seriously predicted American Sniper would earn $107 million during the four-day weekend. A lot of people didn't think it would earn $107 million in total. Both The Wedding Ringer and Paddington did okay business, all things considering, while Blackhat was also released this past weekend. Overall, the box office was $203 million over the three-day period, which was 61% more than last weekend. More importantly, it was 15% more than the same weekend last year. 2015 is still behind 2014 in the year-to-date comparison, but it closed the gap to just just under $20 million or 2.9%.

American Sniper earned good reviews and six Oscar nominations, which probably helped it somewhat. However, it's box office was so huge that reviews and Oscars can't explain it all. The film earned $89.27 million / $107.21 million for a total of $110.64 million, including its limited release run. This is by far the biggest January weekend. It is double even the high end predictions that more than many people thought it would finish with. As for where it goes from here... it really doesn't matter, as the movie will break even no matter how bad its legs are. It will have no trouble getting to $200 million, while $300 million isn't out of the question, if it earns some Oscars and can turn that into an Oscar bounce.

The Wedding Ringer opened in second place, or third place, depending on your point of view. It earned second place over the three-day weekend with $20.65 million, but it earned third place over the four-day weekend with $24.04 million. This is less than expected, but the competition was intense this weekend, so I think the studio will still be happy with this release. On the downside, the reviews are weak, but in line with expectations. The film should hit $50 million with ease and that would be enough to cover its entire production budget. Even if it doesn't find an audience internationally, it will break even early on in its home market run.

Paddington landed in third place over the three-day weekend with $18.97 million over the weekend, but thanks to a strong Monday, it rose to second place over the four-day weekend with $25.49 million. Additionally, its reviews are 98% positive, which is better than most Oscar nominated films earned, while family films tend to have better than average legs. Finally, the film has made more than $100 million internationally, so its North American numbers are not as important as with other films.

Taken 3 fell to fourth place with $14.72 million / $17.05 million over the weekend for a total of $65.84 million after two weeks of release. It is on pace to reach $90 million, maybe a little more, but it likely won't get to the century mark.

Selma rounded out the top five with $8.78 million / $13.85 million during its second weekend of wide release for a total of $31.51 million. It had the best bounce on Monday, which is not terribly surprising given it was MLK day. It does make it a little hard to guess where the film will go from here. $50 million could to be tough to reach, but if it can get there, it will be a financial hit, even before the home market.

Blackhat barely earned tenth place over the three-day weekend with $3.90 million in 2,567 theaters, missing the Mendoza Line in the process. Over four days, the film pulled in $4.49 million, which still doesn't give the film a $2,000 per theater average. The reviews were the weakest of the new releases and I suspect it will disappear next weekend and be all but out of theaters by the time February is two weeks old.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Selma, Paddington, Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer, Taken 3, American Sniper