Weekend Box Office: “American Sniper” Can’t Be Stopped; “Mortdecai” and “Strange Magic” D.O.A.
Having already grossed over $200 million domestically, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper just scored even more records in its second weekend. Sniper expanded to 3,705 theaters – the widest-ever release for an R-rated movie – and earned $64.6 million, which is the eighth-highest grossing second weekend of all time, and all the more remarkable as it is in the company of major PG-13-rated blockbusters. That figure is off only 28 percent from its first weekend, meaning that Sniper is on track to overtake The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 to become the highest-grossing film released in 2014. (It had a limited opening in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas on Christmas Day to qualify for Oscar contention.)
Third and fourth place went to last week’s holdovers, Paddington and The Wedding Ringer, with $12.3 million and $11.3 million, respectively. Taken 3, in its third week of release, held on to fifth place with $7.4 million. Having grossed $75.9 million so far, the third film in the Liam Neeson action franchise seems unlikely to break $100 million domestically.
Best Picture Oscar nominee The Imitation Game expanded its release by a few hundred theaters and pulled in $6.94 million, good enough for sixth place.
The weekend’s other two wide releases bombed terribly. Strange Magic, the animated fairy tale from LucasFilm, grossed only $5.5 million, and is a certified bomb for Disney, considering it opened at more than 3,000 theaters.
Yet the real story is the Johnny Depp vehicle Mortdecai, which opened to an abysmal $4.2 million. To put it in perspective, this is less than half of the opening weekend gross of Depp’s last bomb, Transcendence, which pulled in $10.2 million when it debuted last April. With a budget of $60 million, Mortdecai will be exceedingly lucky to even break $10 million at the domestic box office.
Last week’s American Sniper victim, Blackhat, dropped 57% from its already-dismal opening weekend. Its $1.6 million take was good enough for fifteenth place; to date, the film has earned back one-tenth of its $70 million budget at the domestic box office.
This Week’s Top 10:
- American Sniper, $64.6 million
- The Boy Next Door, $14.9 million
- Paddington, $12.3 million
- The Wedding Ringer, $11.3 million
- Taken 3, $7.4 million
- The Imitation Game, $6.9 million
- Strange Magic, $5.5 million
- Selma, $5.4 million
- Mortdecai, $4.2 million
- Into the Woods, $3.8 million
via Box Office Mojo