Box Office: 'American Sniper' Scores $30.7 Million, Just Short of Super Bowl Weekend Record
Newcomers 'Project Almanac' and 'Black or White' have quiet openings over the football-focused weekend.
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper earned a stellar $30.7 million over Super Bowl weekend, according to Monday's final numbers. While it's a strong gross for the war drama's third weekend out, it means the film just barely missed the record for the biggest Super Bowl weekend gross of all time.
That title is held by 2008's Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which earned $31.1 million over big game weekend. However, American Sniper did unseat 2010's Dear John ($30.5 million) for the second biggest Super Bowl weekend tally.
Last weekend, the Oscar-nominated Sniper became the biggest war-themed film of all time, eclipsing the $216.5 million earned by Saving Private Ryan, not accounting for inflation. The film's new domestic tally is a stunning $247.98 million.
The Bradley Cooper-starring war drama , easily beat out three new films braving a launch despite the NFL championship game: Project Almanac, Black or White and The Loft.
Theater attendance takes a big hit on Super Bowl Sunday, so it's no surprise that no high-profile titles opened this weekend. Indeed, both Project Almanac and The Loft open after long delays.
It looks like all three newcomers will fall below holdover Paddington. The family film, now in its third week, earned an estimated $8.5 million, and while Project Almanac, a found-footage thriller produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes, is also estimated to have earned $8.5 million, it's likely that Paddington will come out on top for the No. 2 spot when the dust settles and the final numbers come in Monday.
Project Almanac, earning a B CinemaScore, follows a brilliant high school student and his friends as they uncover blueprints for a mysterious device that allows them to time travel. Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista and Virginia Gardner star. It was originally set to open a year ago, but Bay wanted to tinker with the movie.
Black or White, filmmaker Mike Binder's racially charged drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, took the No. 4 spot with a tally of $6.5 million for its domestic debut. The film, which received an A- CinemaScore, hoped to serve as counterprogramming for adults, opening in 1,823 locations this weekend. An estimated 78 percent of its opening weekend audience was over 25 years old.
Relativity acquired U.S. rights to Black or White after its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and is releasing the film in association with IM Global and Sunlight Productions.
When no studio would make the $9 million film, Costner invested some of his own money in Black or White, which chronicles a bitter custody fight that ensues when a child's African-American grandmother (Spencer) insists that the child be raised by her son, the girl's father, and not by Costner's character, her maternal grandfather.
Universal holdover The Boy Next Door took No. 5 in its second outing with an estimated $6.1 million or more from 2,615 locations.
The Loft, director Erik Van Looy's English-language remake of his 2008 Dutch film, quickly fell flat this weekend, coming in at No. 10 with a soft $2.9 million. From Dark Castle Entertainment, the thriller was originally supposed to be distributed by Warner Bros. per its deal with Joel Silver's Dark Castle, but it moved to Universal when Silver pacted with that studio.
However, Open Road films subsequently announced it would release The Loft after Universal pulled the movie from its August 2014 release. The $14 million title, about a group of men who share a loft used for illicit affairs, stars James Marsden and Karl Urban, while Matthias Schoenaerts reprises his role from the original film.
Note: Updated Monday morning with official box office grosses.
BLACK OR WHITE
THE BOY NEXT DOOR
THE WEDDING RINGER
THE IMITATION GAME