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Big box office boost for ‘American Sniper’

The total is now $107.3 million for the four-day weekend. And note that the record-breaking totals are for January box office.

UPDATE: It looks like the Martin Luther King Jr holiday in the states is looking real good for “American Sniper.” Adding in this day with the weekend and it smashes the box office record with $105.3 million.

EARLIER: “American Sniper” blew away the box office over the weekend and set a new standard for the month of January. Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper teamed up and won big.

Fresh off six Oscar nominations and all the buzz that goes with that, “American Sniper” took the three-day opening January record with $90.2 million. It will also smash the Martin Luther King Jr (four-day) holiday record with an estimated $100 million possible. That is simply amazing and now January can boast a blockbuster.

The former record-holder is “Ride Along” with $41.6 million for a three-day weekend. Now, that didn’t seem to help the overall box office as the year played out. And shortly after a few weeks, that movie was forgotten. That will not happen with “American Sniper.” “Ride Along” took home $48.1 million over the four-day holiday.

With “Ride Along,” the female audience drove it, while “American Sniper” was fueled by all ages and demographics. However, many males, who do not go to movies on a regular basis, showed up to this one. Much like “Lone Survivor.”

Being in the Oscar spotlight will help this along the way. It started out strong on Thursday night with a $5.3 million haul and then exploded on Friday and took in a January record for that day ($30.1 million).

On Saturday, it stayed hot and packed theaters across the country. Warner Brothers had to take a bow here, as well as the marketing team and those trailers. Rarely do they push people like these ones did. They told just enough and built on the drama, instead of giving too much away.

The final will need to be adjusted later since Sunday in the states can play with the numbers. First, it being a NFL championship day. The demographics are likely many of the same people. The movie is adapted by Jason Hall. It is the story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It hits all the spots that make for a huge movie.

1. “American Sniper” – three-day, $90.2 million; four-day, estimate $105.3 million
2. “The Wedding Ringer” – three-day, $20.6 million; four-day, $24.4 million
3. “Paddington” – three-day, $19.1 million; four-day, $24.1 million
* This is a very fluid box office report on this huge weekend. Results will change and be updated throughout Monday, a holiday.

Keven Hart and his “The Wedding Singer” was strong but way, way back. So far back that it may get lost in the shuffle, as will “Paddington.”

Since January is not one big blockbuster weekend after the other, a win from a good movie would be easy. But, it is not every year one gets a movie of this critical acclaim in the month. Perhaps it will change a few minds.

“American Sniper” also helps those Oscar nominated films grab some box office glory. Box office glory is not what Oscar is all about.

But, for TV ratings, having films that people see surely helps. When a film doesn’t have that, the host helps and so do the A-listers. Having Cooper and Eastwood walking the red carpet will help those who seen this movie tune it to see how it fares come Feb. 22.

One could easily assume that those who are flocking to see this movie do not generally tune in to an award show. One last item about “Sniper.” There was a time when Steven Spielberg was assigned to it.

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