U.K. feature ‘Paddington’ remains the family offering of choice, coming in third place with $12.4 million, while the George Lucas-produced ‘Strange Magic’ debuts in seventh place with $5.5 million.
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper remained a phenomenon in its second weekend, earning $64.4 million from 3,705 theaters and quickly becoming the number two war film of all time at the North American box office, not accounting for inflation.
The film’s domestic total through Sunday is $200.1 million for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. Overseas, American Sniper earned another $17.6 million from 26 markets, bringing its foreign total to $47.5 million and global haul to $247.6 million.
Psychological thriller The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Guzman opened in second place to a solid $15 million from 2,602 theaters. Rated R, The Boy Next Door is the latest title from Universal's deal with Jason Blum's Blumhouse. Directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious), the $4 million film explores what happens when forbidden attraction goes too far.
Among holdovers, U.K. feature Paddington remained the family offering of choice, coming in third place with $12.4 million from 3,355 theaters. The StudioCanal movie, distributed by The Weinstein Co. in the U.S., has now grossed $40.1 million domestically. Overseas the film has made $129.5 million for a global tally of $169.6 million worldwide.
Kevin Hart and Josh Gad's The Wedding Ringer made $11.6 million from its second outing for a domestic total of $39.7 million. Screen Gems made the R-rated comedy for a modest $23 million.
In its third weekend, Taken 3 rounded out the top five with $7.6 million from 2,909 locations for a North American total of $76 million for Fox and EuropaCorp. Overseas the action threequel has made a total of $149.9 million for a worldwide tally of $225.9 million.
The Weinstein Co.’s Oscar best-picture contender The Imitation Game continues to see major gains after landing a number of top nominations. The British drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, earned $7.1 million as it expanded into a total of 2,025 theaters for a domestic total of $60.6 million -- overtaking The Grand Budapest Hotel ($57 million) to become the top-grossing indie film released in 2014 (the film first debuted in select theaters over Thanksgiving ).
Also opening this weekend was the George Lucas-produced Strange Magic, which placed number seven on the box office charts for its debut. The animated family film grossed just $5.5 million from 3,020 locations, one of the worst openings ever for a title opening in more than 3,000 locations.
From a story by Lucas, Strange Magic is an animated romp set in a whimsical land of potions, goblins and fairies that's loosely inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The movie was already in the works when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, but Strange Magic was kept quiet until last fall, when Disney announced a January 23 release. The voice cast includes Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio, Meredith Anne Bull, Alfred Molina and Elijah Kelley, who sing new versions of pop and classic rock songs.
In eighth place, Ava DuVernay's Selma took in $5.5 million over its fifth weekend in wide release, pushing the historical film’s domestic total to $39.2 million for distributor Paramount.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp's newest film, Mortdecai, tanked in its domestic launch, earning $4.1 million from 2,648 locations and a ninth place showing. From Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment, Mortdecai was directed by David Koepp under a budget of $60 million. The film stars Depp as a debonair art dealer and part-time rogue who races to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Jeff Goldblum and Paul Bettany also star in the film adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli's novel Don't Point That Thing at Me. Mortdecai also fell flat overseas, grossing just $5.2 million from 33 territories.
Rounding up the list at number 10 is Disney’s musical feature Into the Woods, which has been nominated for three Oscars, including Best Costume Design. The musical adaptation came in ninth place, earning $3.9 million for a domestic total of $121.5 million. Overseas, the film made an additional $8 million for an international total of $34 million and worldwide tally of $155.5 million.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros. scored a second victory internationally with Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which launched in China to an impressive $49.5 million -- the studio's biggest three-day opening of all time, bringing the movie's foreign total to $616.9 million and global cume to $866.5 million.
Disney’s Marvel-inspired Big Hero 6 added $14.9 million from 33 markets this weekend. That includes a strong $5.1 million opening in South Korea -- the second all-time opening for Disney/Pixar behind Frozen -- and a solid $3.9 million in Germany. The animated feature has earned $238.6 million so far, and is scheduled to expand in to France and China next month.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.