Box Office Report: American Sniper Breaks Super Bowl Record


All of the new films opened rather clumsily this weekend. Black or White, starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, finished in fourth place with $6.5 million. While that is not a big take, given the modest buzz and mediocre reviews, that isn’t a total disaster. That is a bit below the debut for Mike Binder’s previous film, Reign Over Me ($7.5 million), but that had a bigger box office draw in Adam Sandler. Given the competition in theaters for mature audiences now with the Oscar nominees (including Sniper), Relativity should be happy with an A- CinemaScore rating. Plus, word-of-mouth could lead the film to a decent final gross.

Far down the list, debuting with $2.9 million in tenth place, was the erotic thriller The Loft. With a B-list cast including James Marsden and Karl Urban and very little marketing and awareness, the film didn’t have much in the way of box office aspirations and was dumped over the weekend of the Big Game. Expect a DVD release within a couple of months.

Thankfully, the news was better for HBO, which released the final two season four episodes of Game of Thrones on IMAX and saw many fans turn out. In 205 IMAX auditoriums, the film earned $1.5 million, which is not far below the limited re-releases of Top Gun ($2 million) and Raiders of the Lost Ark ($1.7 million) in the large-screen format. However, many of those auditoriums will likely be showing Jupiter Ascending beginning this Friday.

Expanding to wide release this weekend with mild results was A Most Violent Year. The critically-acclaimed drama starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain made $1.7 million from 818 theaters, and currently has a $3.1 million total after weeks in limited release. That is not great, although given the lack of Oscar nominations, the film’s goals were modest to begin with.

Here are the numbers for the Top 10 films at the North American box office for the weekend of January 30 through February 1, 2015:

1. American Sniper – $31.9 million ($248.9 million total)
2. Paddington – $8.5 million ($50.5 million total)
3. Project Almanac – $8.5 million (NEW)
4. Black or White – $6.5 million (NEW)
5. The Boy Next Door – $6.1 million ($24.7 million total)
6. The Wedding Ringer – $5.7 million ($48.1 million total)
7. The Imitation Game – $5.2 million ($68 million total)
8. Taken 3 – $3.7 million ($81.4 million total)
9. Strange Magic – $3.4 million ($9.9 million total)
10. The Loft – $2.9 million (NEW)

NOTE: These numbers are weekend estimates based on Friday and Saturday’s estimated takes. Actual numbers for the three-day weekend are reported on Monday afternoon.