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article image'American Sniper' to get a box office boost

By Tim O'Brien     Jan 16, 2015 in Entertainment
The box office will get a boost by the recent Oscar nominations, but how much? For one film, probably a great deal. Overall, top film nominees are not big box office money-makers right now.
As for Oscar snubs, they happen. Not every movie or person can be nominated. The nominations are all about how they ranked as the votes were tallied. It is also about how many of the voters actually saw a particular film. The ranking has a great deal to do with the eventual nominations. It usually turns out to be very close for that last spot.
"American Sniper" and its Best Picture nominations will help put people in the seats this weekend and it goes wide. It was in limited release until this weekend. It did impressive business in that limited release. It already made $5.3 million Thursday and is off to a great start. This weekend, it may be in the $50 million range, or more, depending on word-of-mouth.
Also, Bradley Cooper got a nod for Best Actor, while Clint Eastwood (Best Director) did not. However, Eastwood did get a coveted Directors Guild of America nomination, so all may be a wash for him.
Weekend
1. "American Sniper" - 3,555 theaters
2. "Paddington" -3,303 theaters
3. "The Wedding Ringer" - 3,003 theaters
4. "Blackhat" -2,567 theaters
It will be a time when Oscar hopefuls fill the talk shows and make the rounds. Oscar season is a full-blown marketing blitz. But, there are other films out now, too. "Still Alice," which stars Oscar-front runner Julianne Moore, is in limited release.
Besides "Sniper," a cuddly bear opens wide. "Paddington" pounces and looks for that family audience. It was set for a December 2014 release but was pushed to January.
Kevin Hart knows good, solid box office and his "The Wedding Ringer" will fare pretty well as people get out on this Martin Luther King Jr holiday. It is a good weekend to get rid of that cabin fever and get out. If Hart's film has bite to it, it may get more than $20 million for sure.
But, the NFL divisional championships will dent movie habits somewhat, mainly in those participating cities and venues. But, certain parts of the country will head out no matter what to see "American Sniper." That would likely be the Midwest and Texas, etc.
"Blackhat" stars Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis and is looking at around $10-11 million, and no so hot. "Paddington is looking for $15-17 million, noted Box Office Mojo.
Hollywood has offered up plenty on this holiday, unlike some of them last year, so that is a good sign. Now, let's see if people show up.
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