Box Office: 'American Sniper' Quickly Becoming No. 1 War Film of All Time
Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated film is days away from eclipsing Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan.'
American Sniper has set its sights on another record: Within a matter of days, it will overtake Steven Spielberg's WWII classic Saving Private Ryan to become the top-grossing war-themed film of all time in North America, not accounting for inflation.
Clint Eastwood's history-making movie jumped the $200 million mark on Sunday, putting it ahead of Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, another WWII title, which topped out at $198.5 million domestically in 2001. American Sniper is distinct from those two film in being set during a modern-day conflict.
Saving Private Ryan, released in 1998, earned $216.7 million domestically. Taking inflation into account, that would equal roughly $312 million in today's terms. But a record is a record, and the history-making Sniper will cross $216 million sometime this week for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow.
Films addressing recent conflicts have had a decidedly mixed track record, but American Sniper is benefiting from a massive turnout in America's heartland, as well as from its six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Bradley Cooper's performance as the late Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who fought in the second Iraq war.
In celebrating Sniper's $200 million milestone, Warners domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman said that Eastwood "created a gripping drama with a rare insight into the toll of war that has resonated with audiences in almost every demographic."
Here's a rundown of how films addressing post-9/11 conflicts, or terrorism, have performed, according to Rentrak.
Zero Dark Thirty
Act of Valor
The Hurt Locker