Hey, have you seen this new movie? This American Sniper? Turns out, you probably have—even you don’t remember it—because everyone in America has now seen this movie. At least, that’s what the picture’s massive box-office numbers seem to indicate. In its third week in wide release, the fact-based and fake-baby-starring Clint Eastwood film snagged the top spot at the box office for the third time in a row. Call us crazy, but that Bradley Cooper just might be a bankable star.
Sniper has smashed record after record since it opened in limited release over Christmas, and now it adds a sparkly new medal to its coffers, besting the previous Super Bowl Weekend record by half a million dollars. Fun fact: Did you know that the previous Super Bowl Weekend winner was the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour? That film made $31.1 million when it opened back in 2008. Sorry about that, Hannah Montana and/or Miley Cyrus, but records were made to be broken. American Sniper made $31.85 million this weekend alone, while only reminding us how long it’s been since that lil’ Montana danced into our hearts.
Moreover, BoxOfficeMojo gently reminds us that American Sniper still has a chance of becoming the No. 1 movie of 2014. Wait, what? That’s right. The film is already the sixth biggest earner for movies that opened in 2014, and its steady ability to grab moviegoers and their money has already earned it just under $250 million. The film will likely smash the No. 5 earner (that would be The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, another movie that apparently everyone saw even if they don’t remember) this week, and even The Lego Movie and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Nos. 4 and 3, respectively) might want to be wary of the juggernaut that is American Sniper.
Elsewhere, other movies made some money this weekend, but both Sniper and the “big game” so brutally dominated the cultural consumption landscape that most of them should have just stayed home. Except for Paddington, which managed to creep back into the No. 2 spot after slipping to No. 3 last week. The sartorially astute bear added another $8.5 million to its domestic take, just breaking the $50 million dollar threshold. Internationally, however, Paddington is steadily approaching the $200 million mark, having made $196.5 million worldwide so far. Our childhoods are saved!
The weekend also saw the release of a handful of new films, including Project Almanac, Black Or White, and The Loft, which all managed to appear in the top 10, seemingly without making much money. In the No. 3 spot, the perpetually pushed-back and routinely renamed Project Almanac reiterated what a bad idea it is to give teenagers access to time travel, making $8.5 million in the process. It was trailed by Kevin Costner grappling with racial issues in the thuddingly named Black Or White, which made $6.46 million for fourth place. Way back in the No. 10 spot, American remake The Loft explored what happens when you buy a sex loft (?) with your friends (?) and then someone winds up dead there (?), making just $2.89 million in the process. (Read: probably still not enough to buy a good sex loft in a nice metropolitan area.)
Not into movies? (Confusion.) Perhaps you checked out the IMAX-sized offering of Game Of Thrones this weekend, a special package of two episodes from last season and a brand-new trailer, all remastered for the format. GOT was only available in 205 theaters, but it still pulled in just over $1.5 million, giving it the weekend’s fifth best per-theater average, at $7,322 per location.
Besting that entirely respectable average were a trio of specialty releases (and then also American Sniper which, again, continues to win everything). Released in just four theaters, Oscar nominee Timbuktu managed to make $50,000, giving it an extremely respectable $12,500 per-theater average. It was trailed by another foreign language release (Running Man, $10,250 per theater) and the heavily lauded, yet somehow in limited-release Still Alice ($7,405 per theater).