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‘American Sniper’ sets its sights on another win

EARLIER: It is going to be another weekend for Clint Eastwood and his “American Sniper.” Even with a normal drop in the second weekend, it is likely that it will win again.

Bradley Cooper as sniper Chris Kyle has gotten many headlines outside the movie realm, and that can be bad for business. But, that has not been the case with this as Hollywood was fighting itself from two sides of an issue.

That means jumping down political sides, as a movie like this often does. In the end, the movie is just that – a movie. No film to date has been 100 percent accurate and followed the facts from start to finish. Now, a fake baby gets into the mix. Oh well, it is Hollywood.

Follow that with the Oscar controversy, which, in reality, happens every year. Award season has its push now until Feb. 22, when the Oscars arrive. Until “American Sniper” exploded at the box office, no contender for Best Picture could boast big numbers. One can now and that may be enough to get more eyes or sustain viewership.

After all, since “American Sniper” is appealing to males more, plus the heartland of the United States, they may tune in to see how it does that night. Any other Oscar cycle, they tune out.

The weekend will be all about “Sniper” again. Let’s throw the number $40-50 million for it.

1. “Strange Magic” – 2,700 theaters
2. “Mortdecai” – 2,600 theaters
3. “The Boy Next Door” – 2,500+ theaters
4. “Cake” – 482 theaters

But, other offerings this weekend do have a couple of big names in Jennifer Lopez and Johnny Depp.

Depp and his “Mortdecai” and Lopez and her “The Boy Next Door” get release dates in January. That should say it all.

But, what a fine cast with “Mortdecai,” which includes Depp, of course, but also Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn and Jeff Goldblum. Some farces fall flat. In fact, many more do that they hit the spot.

“The Boy Next Door” serves up the cheese, but it all depends on if the viewers want that. For “Strange Magic” from Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd, it will be interesting to see if this appeals to anyone. It is an animated feature based on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

For those wondering about the so-called Jennifer Aniston snub for “Cake,” it is time to see that one, albeit in only 482 locations.

Then there was this item that played out recently. Since “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” is still out and about, it did officially pass “Guardians of the Galaxy” as the top film on 2014, noted Box Office Mojo.

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