Filed Under:  U.S. & World

‘American Sniper ‘ crushes competition and shatters records

Contributed by on January 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Clint Eastwood’s gritty war film, ‘American Sniper,’ surprised many when it not only topped the box office, but also broke records and garnered a few Oscar nods.


The movie, Starring Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, earned an estimated $90.2 million over its first weekend, beating out “Avatar” as the top-grossing January release ever.


Those are blockbuster numbers during what is typically considered an off-season. Indeed, production companies don’t usually expect those kinds of figures in January.


That means that what was perhaps meant as mere filler between The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which is ending its run, and next month’s offerings, has instead become a feature attraction. Already the movie has expanded to 3,500 screens after debuting in a handful of theaters.


The film is also surprising many by its quick conversion to the IMAX Experience. The idea of putting ‘American Sniper’ on IMAX was only floated about a month ago. Before that it was destined to be nothing more than a regular, 35mm theatrical release. Within a few short weeks, however, the film was ready for the larger screens.


It’s a good thing, too. The film earned $10.6 million from IMAX theaters alone. That’s 20.4% of its total earnings and a record for an R-rated IMAX debut.


‘Sniper’s’ commercial success already seems to be matched by its critical acclaim, as the film has now been nominated for six Academy awards, including best picture and best actor for Cooper.


Whatever happens in February, one thing is clear: the film has already shattered expectations.