'American Sniper' Is Having A Monster Weekend

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar darling “American Sniper” opened in wide release this weekend with a record-smashing $US90.2 million haul.

“American Sniper” stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in US military history. The film has been exceeding expectations since it opened in limited release in just four theatres on Christmas Day, taking in an impressive $US850,000 with a per-theatre average of $US152,500, which ranks the 11th-best per-theatre average of all time.

On Thursday, the film nabbed six Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best actor for star Bradley Cooper, so the timing of its wide release this weekend could not have been better.

“American Sniper” is now the highest-grossing January debut of all time, more than doubling last January’s “Ride Along,” which took in $US41.5 million. More notably, the film had the second-most-lucrative debut ever for an R-rated film, a record held by “The Matrix Reloaded,” which took the spot all the way back in 2003 with $US91.7 million. When final numbers are released tomorrow morning, “Sniper” might actually overtake it.

Here’s a quick look at the highest-grossing films that have opened in January:


Movie Release Date Opening Weekend Worldwide Gross Estimated Budget
American Sniper 1/16/2015 $US93.6 million  $US109.9 million (so far) $US58.8 million
Ride Along 1/17/2014 $US41.5 million $US154 million $US25 million
Cloverfield 1/18/2008 $US40 million $US170.7 million $US25 million
Taken 3 1/9/2015 $US39.2 million $US127.5 million $US48 million
Lone Survivor 1/10/2014 $US37.8 million $US149.3 million $US40 million
Star Wars” (Special Edition) 1/31/1997 $US35.9 million $US579.6 million n/a


“American Sniper” is also the biggest debut yet for Clint Eastwood, a record previously set by 2008’s “Gran Torino” at just $US29.5 million. “American Sniper” bested that on Friday alone with $US30.5 million. Not only that, the film had the biggest-ever debut weekend for a best-picture Oscar nominee.

Clint eastwood american sniperTheo Wargo/Getty ImagesDirector Clint Eastwood.


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