JANUARY 20 UPDATE: The Warner Bros war film expanded wide in its fourth session and vaulted 20 places to top of the charts in a record wide debut for a winter release and a handful of other records.
Earning a confirmed $89.3m over three and $107.2m over four days over the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend, the Bradley Cooper starrer scored a record non-franchise wide debut (it opened in a platform release three weeks ago), a record wide debut for an R-rated war film and an all-time best for director Clint Eastwood.
The true story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle opened on December 24 and remained in four venues for the first three sessions before this weekend’s expansion to 3,555. Last week it earned six Oscar nominations including a third consecutive actor nod for Bradley Cooper.
American Sniper arrived in 332 Imax screens in North American and is projected to gross $11.5m over the four days, beating Avatar’s four-day MLK mark of $9.66m.
This was also a record Imax debut for an R-rated title, besting Prometheus, with a three-day gross of $9.5m.
StudioCanal’s Paddington opened at number two through TWC-Dimension on $25.5m over four days. Screen Gems’ comedy The Wedding Ringer starring Kevin Hart arrived in third on $24m. The Michael Mann thriller Blackhat starring Chris Hemsworth opened in eleventh place on $4.5m.
Last weekend’s champion Taken 3 fell to number four and stands at $65.8m after two weekends.
The disappointing week for Selma continued as the film’s misfortune struck an ironic note over MLK weekend. Pathé’s Martin Luther King Jr drama dropped three places to number five via Paramount on $13.9m for $31.5m after four sessions.
Both Disney’s Into The Woods and Universal’s Unbroken crossed $100m.
Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive’s The Imitation Game ranks seventh through TWC and has crossed $100m worldwide, taking roughly $50m in the US and $50m internationally via FilmNation licensees.
Black Bear chief Teddy Schwarzman paid tribute to director Morten Tyldum and his cast and crew and said the achievement was “a wonderful milestone.”
Schwarzman added: “We made this independent film for a fraction of a studio budget, and no-one involved ever imagined a day like today.”
SPC opened Still Alice, the Alzheimer’s drama starring red-hot Oscar favourite Julianne Moore on $237,000 from 12 venues.
Birdman earned nine Oscar nods last week and expanded in its 14th session from 228 to 471 sites, grossing $1.9m for $28.6m through Fox Searchlight.
The Tamil-language revenge tale I arrived via Aascar Film on roughly $781,000 from 222 venues.
This week’s wide releases are Mortdecai starring Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow via Lionsgate; Disney’s animation Strange Magic; and Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door through Universal.
Confirmed top 10 North America Jan 16-19, 2015 (and Jan 16-18 2015)
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date
1 (21) American Sniper (Warner Bros) WBPI $107.2m ($89.3m over three days) $110.6m ($92.7m)
2 (-) Paddington (TWC-Dimension) StudioCanal $25.5m ($18.9m) —
3 (-) The Wedding Ringer (Screen Gems) SPRI $24m ($20.6m) —
4 (1) Taken 3 (Fox) Fox International $17.1m ($14.7m) $65.8m ($63.5m)
5 (2) Selma (Paramount) Pathé $13.9m ($8.8m) $31.5m ($26.4m)
6 (3) Into The Woods (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $8.7m ($6.77m) $116.5m ($114.5m)
7 (6) The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Company) FilmNation $8m ($6.8m) $51.6m ($50.4m)
8 (4) The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (New Line-MGM) Warner Bros Pictures International $5.9k ($4.9m) $245.7m ($244.6m)
9 (7) Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (Fox) Fox International $5.3m ($3.8m) $106.2m ($104.7m)
10 (5) Unbroken (Universal) Universal Pictures International $5m ($4.3m $109.4m ($108.6m)