Clint Eastwood's ‘American Sniper’ tops the North American box office with a massive $89.5 million debut; StudioCanal’s ‘Paddington’ lands in third place with $19 million.
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper topped the North American box office this weekend with a massive $89.5 million opening leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. day, shattering records along the way. Scoring the biggest launch ever for a non-tentpole Hollywood title, American Sniper marks the second-highest debut for an R-rated film following The Matrix: Reloaded ($91.8 million), not accounting for inflation.
To date, the $60 million film, from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, has grossed $92.9 million domestically. The Academy Award-nominated movie, starring Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, recorded the biggest Oscar bump of all time after landing six nominations February 15, including Best Picture and Best Actor. And despite its pro-American military theme, the movie has done well overseas, earning $25.4 million as of now for an early worldwide total of $134.1 million.
Kevin Hart's The Wedding Ringer came in second place with a three-day gross of gross of $20.6 million from 3,003 theaters, the top showing of all time for an R-rated comedy opening in January. Hart stars opposite Josh Gad in the film, which is distributed by Screen Gems and cost a modest $23 million to make.
In a victory for The Weinstein Co.’s newly reconfigured TWC-Dimension label, StudioCanal’s Paddington came in third place for its North American debut, earning $19 million for the three-day holiday for a domestic total of $25.2 million. Already well into its overseas run, Paddington has earned an outstanding $122.3 million to date internationally for a cumulative total of $147.4 million worldwide.
Among holdovers, Fox’s Taken 3 earned $14.5 million over its sophomore weekend for a domestic total of $63.4 million. The action movie earned another $45.3 million overseas for an early foreign total of $97.6 million and worldwide haul of $163.8 million.
Ava DuVernay's Selma took in $8.8 million over the long MLK holiday for a fifth place finish over its second weekend in wide release for a domestic total of $26 million. Produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and Oprah Winfrey, Selma stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King. Jr. Paramount is distributing the critically-acclaimed film in North America.
With eight Oscar nominations, The Weinstein Co.’s The Imitation Game landed in sixth place, taking in $6.8 million for the weekend for a domestic total of $51.7 million. Earning $40.8 million overseas, where it is distributed by FilmNation, Imitation Game has made a total of $92.6 million worldwide.
Nominated for three Oscars, Disney’s musical feature Into the Woods came in seventh place, earning $6.8 million for a domestic total of $114.5 million. Overseas, the film made an additional $10.7 million for an international total of $26 million and worldwide tally of $142.4 million.
From New Line and MGM, Peter Jackson's final Hobbit installment, The Battle of the Five Armies, came in eighth place domestically, earning $4.9 million for a total of $244.6 million. Overseas Battle of the Five Armies has made a total of $558.6 million to date, pushing the film’s worldwide tally to $804.2 million.
In ninth place, Angelina Jolie's WWII drama Unbroken grossed $4.2 for a North American total of $108.5 million. Overseas, Unbroken earned an additional $7.8 million for an international total of $21.8 million and an early worldwide total of $131.1 million.
Michael Mann's big-budget action-thriller Blackhat, about a cyberattack on worldwide banking systems that the U.S. and China try to stop, rounded up the top 10 with a three-day debut of $3.8 million. Starring Chris Hemsworth, along with Tang Wei, Viola Davis, Holt McCallany and Wang Leehom, the $70 million film from Legendary Pictures is being distributed by Universal. Overseas the film made $2.2 million for a worldwide tally of $6.6 million.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.