Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper made January box office history over the past weekend, as their film American Sniper broke a number of records en route to a $90.2 million box office haul and the top spot on the weekend box office charts. The film’s massive opening leapfrogs it past The Grand Budapest Hotel to become the most financially successful Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year, as well as setting the record for best January box office weekend take, ahead of James Cameron’s Avatar. The total also puts the movie at number 40 in the highest grossing opening weekends of all time, and the top drama in that category, while its R rating makes American Sniper the second-highest opener with that rating.
The film wasn’t the only new entry in the box office charts, however, as the Kevin Hart-Josh Gad comedy The Wedding Ringer opened in second place with $21 million, with newcomer Paddington rounding out the top 3 with a $19.3 million total. The top two films of last weekend’s box office, Taken 3 and Selma, closed out the top five in fourth and fifth place respectively. The other new entry on the list was the Michael Mann thriller Blackhat, which made its debut at the tenth spot, with former box office champion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 slipping out of the top ten for the first time since its release. Amidst the shuffling, the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game held steady in sixth place.
Among limited releases, the most notable opener was Still Alice. The drama, which stars Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart, opened in 13 theatres, earning $212,432 over the weekend for a PSA of $17,703. The widest opener, however, was Sean McNamara’s Spare Parts, which was released in 430 theatres and grossed 1.3 million, for a PSA of $3,203. Other notable openers included Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior, which earned $18,500 for a PSA of $1,850, and the Patrick Stewart-starring Match, which earned $6,000 for a PSA of $2,000.
The top earners at the US box office for the weekend is as follows:
- American Sniper — $90,205,000
- The Wedding Ringer — $21,000,000
- Paddington — $19,287,000
- Taken 3 — $14,050,000
- Selma — $8,300,000
- The Imitation Game — $7,192,000
- Into The Woods — $6,542,000
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — $4,860,000
- Unbroken — $4,267,000
- Blackhat — $4,030,000