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article image'Sniper' outguns the field for its third win in a row

By Tim O'Brien     Feb 1, 2015 in Entertainment
UPDATE: As noted below, the actual box office figures would need another look over a weekend like this past one. It is now certain that "American Sniper" took in less than the estimate and is not the record for Super Bowl weekend.
The total for the Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood film is now $30.8 million for the weekend. Miley Cyrus is still on top for this particular weekend.
EARLIER: "American Sniper" set a Super Bowl weekend box office record as it continues on its torrid pace. But, with the snowy weather in many parts of the United States, the momentum could slow down.
Heavy snow is belting a large swath of America and with it being Super Bowl Sunday, "American Sniper" will easily win and leave the others behind. The solid win is its third win in a row. Its $31.8 million over game weekend beats the $31.11 million "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" took in. The concert movie was the all-time best over a Super Bowl weekend. A closer look when the actual figures come in may change the outlook.
Now, note that "Sniper" has been out so it still besting that mark is something to crow about. Although it may have done better if not the weather, the box office is happy, for it. But, for the others, not so much. They looked like a normal January/February at the movies.
"Project Almanac" could not break into double digits and settled in with a dismal $8.5 million. "The Loft" went away empty with $2.88 million. Kevin Costner and his race relation flick "Black and White" crashed with only $6.46 million.
Weekend
1. "American Sniper" - $31.8 million
2. "Paddington" - $8.51 million
3. "Project Almanac" - $8.5 million.
4. "Black and White" - $6.46 million
The weather issues will mean that this report will have to be looked at again, as it can sway more than the usual. The gap between the top spot and the runner up cannot be good news for the studios. After an odd year in 2014, "American Sniper" was a welcome result for January, but the other films may tell the story of how the actual box office may proceed as the year goes on.
The game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots take over Sunday. But, so do parties, The Kitten Bowl, The Puppy Bowl and many other distractions that will take the audience away from theaters. It was no wonder why the Miley Cyrus film was the best for this weekend. It was perfect counter-programming. With "Sniper," it is the same demographic, so Sunday numbers will tell the tale.
As noted in the preview report, "American Sniper" did pass "Saving Private Ryan" as the highest-grossing domestic war movie. It is now solidly past it. It is playing like an anti-war and patriotic film. It has both and that has many scratching their heads trying to explain it. It does seem to play down political party lines, but how well it is doing cannot be ignored.
With the NFL grabbing more female viewers with how it is marketed over the last decade, now that counter-programming isn't a sure bet anymore.
“Game of Thrones” was released on IMAX on 205 screens. It took in around $1.5 million.
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