Weekend Report: 'American Sniper' Adds $30 Million in Third Weekend
by Ray Subers
February 1, 2015
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American Sniper easily led the box office for the third weekend in a row, while the three new wide releases flopped with less than $18 million combined.
American Sniper added $30.7 million, which fell just shy of a new record for Super Bowl weekend behind Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1 million). Unfortunately, it was off 53 percent from last weekend, which suggests that the intense interest surrounding the movie has cooled off quite a bit. Still, that $30.7 million ranks 21st all-time among third weekends, and that's with a hand tied behind its back thanks to the Super Bowl.
To date, American Sniper has earned $247.8 million, which ranks sixth among 2014 releases. It could still wind up becoming the highest-grossing movie from 2014 ahead of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, though that no longer seems guaranteed.
Playing at 2,893 locations, Project Almanac flopped with $8.3 million. That's the second worst debut ever for Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company, ahead of 2007's The Hitcher ($7.8 million). It's also a fraction of the openings for teen-friendly Super Bowl fare like Chronicle (2012), The Woman in Black and Warm Bodies, all of which opened over $20 million.
When Project Almanac originally went in to production back in mid-2013, the found footage genre still seemed to be in its prime: in 2012, four different titles earned north of $50 million in the U.S. Due to a major release date delay, though, Project Almanac arrived in theaters after a year in which all six found footage movies earned less than $50 million. This is a risk inherent to chasing after trends—a movie may feel fresh and exciting when it gets the greenlight, but winds up seeming stale when it eventually reaches theaters.
Paramount is reporting that Project Almanac's audience was 55 percent male and 63 percent under the age of 25. They awarded the movie a "B" CinemaScore, which suggests word-of-mouth will be lukewarm. Ultimately, look for Project Almanac to end its run with less than $25 million total.
In third place, Paddington eased 33 percent to $8.27 million. To date, the family-friendly adventure has earned $50.3 million, and is on its way to at least $70 million total.
Playing at 1,823 locations, Kevin Costner drama Black or White opened in fourth place with $6.2 million. That's noticeably lower than Costner's last movie, Draft Day ($9.8 million), and is in the same general range as past Super Bowl weekend misses Big Miracle ($7.8 million) and Labor Day ($5.18 million).
The audience was 64 percent female and 78 percent over the age of 25, and they gave the movie a solid "A-" CinemaScore. The movie could hold up decently in the coming weeks, though there might be a problem hanging on to screens against the barrage of major releases hitting theaters in the next two weeks. Ultimately, look for Black or White to wrap up its run in the $15 to $20 million range.
In its second weekend, The Boy Next Door fell 59 percent to an estimated $6.08 million, which brings its total to $24.7 million. Meanwhile, The Wedding Ringer was off 50 percent to $5.7 million. To date, the movie has earned $48.1 million, and will pass Kevin Hart's About Last Night (2014) in the next few days.
At 1,841 locations, The Loft was a non-starter with $2.75 million. The movie completed principal photography back in 2011, and was originally scheduled for release last August via Universal. Ultimately, Open Road Films took over the project, and seems to have spent very little on a marketing campaign. At the end of the day, The Loft should wind up earning less than $7 million total.
After four weeks in limited release, A Most Violent Year expanded to 818 locations and earned $1.51 million this weekend. That's roughly on par with star Oscar Isaac's Inside Llewyn Davis, which took in $1.88 million in its nationwide expansion last January (albeit after grossing quite a bit more in limited release). To date, A Most Violent Year has earned $2.98 million total, and it should eventually top writer/director J.C. Chandor's Margin Call ($5.35 million) and All Is Lost ($6.26 million).
Playing at 205 locations, the Game of Thrones IMAX event earned $1.46 million. That's a bit lower than the Raiders of the Lost Ark IMAX re-release ($1.67 million) and Top Gun's 3D re-release ($1.97 million).
Still, this seems to reinforce that big-screen re-releases can be a decent way to make a few bucks on existing intellectual property, so long as the marketing spend remains low (which seems to be the case here). It will be interesting to see if IMAX, Warner Bros. and HBO decide to do this again for episodes from the fifth season of the popular show.
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• 'Sniper' Set to Three-Peat Over Super Bowl Weekend
• 'Sniper' Scores Stunning $64 Million in Second Weekend
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2014 - 'Ride Along' Avoids 'Awkward Moment,' Three-peats Over Super Bowl Weekend
• 2013 - 'Warm Bodies' Tops Gloomy Super Bowl Weekend
• 2012 - 'Chronicle' Barely Overpowers 'Woman in Black'
• 2011 - 'Roommate' Bunks on Top, 'Sanctum' Stuck in Cave
• 2010 - 'Dear John' Delivers, 'Avatar' Flies High Again
• 2009 - 'Taken' Captures Super Bowl Weekend
• 2007 - 'Messengers' Carry Super Bowl Weekend
• 2006 - 'When a Stranger' Dials Up Super Bowl Record
• 2005 - 'Boogeyman' Creeps Into First
• Weekend Box Office Results
• 2014 Domestic Box Office