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Box office report: 'American Sniper' breaks January records


American Sniper was expected to do well this weekend after an impressive limited release, but not this well: The Clint Eastwood-directed war film took in an estimated $90.2 million—and broke a few records.

The Oscar-nominated film set a new record for a January opening by taking in $30.5 million on Friday, breaking the mark set by Cloverfield ($17.2 million on Jan. 18, 2008). January is a notoriously slow month at the box office, so Sniper‘s debut is particularly eye-opening.

American Sniper also took a couple records from James Cameron’s Avatar, which previously held the records for biggest January weekend performance (it made $68.5 million the first weekend of 2010) and biggest gross for a single day ($28.5 million) in January. This is big for Sniper, especially given the sluggish starts for Clint Eastwood films lately: His last two films, 2014’s Jersey Boys and 2011’s J. Edgar, opened with just $13.3 million and $11.2 million, respectively.


'American Sniper' takes the Friday box office by surprise

American Sniper continues its surprise box office success. Following its remarkable $3.4 million gross across only four screens, the film’s first day in wide release has made it look like a blockbuster, earning $30.5 million on Friday.


Box office preview: 'American Sniper' to top the weekend


Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper has only been playing in four theaters since its Dec. 26 limited release, yet it’s somehow managed to gross $3.4 million—a number that foreshadows an impressive weekend when the film opens wide Friday.

It has some competition though: The Wedding Ringer, Paddington, and Blackhat are also opening this weekend, each in at least 2,500 theaters. That’s not to mention Taken 3, the Liam Neeson-led action flick that had an impressive $39.2 million debut last weekend and that should still be a contender in the top five for at least another week or two. READ FULL STORY

Box-office report: 'Taken 3' takes the cake

While forecasts predicted Taken 3 would have a similar opening to the first in the trilogy, the Liam Neeson-led action flick went above and beyond that by bringing in an estimated $40.4 million this weekend—a number closer to Taken 2′s $49.5 million opening than Taken‘s $24.7 million.

This number proves the power of a good old-fashioned action movie, a type of film that’s been absent from theaters in favor of Oscar bait as of late. And it proves the power of Neeson, an actor with definite pull—especially when it comes to this genre: He led both the previous Taken films, as well as last year’s Non-Stop, which brought in $222.8 million worldwide.

None of the weekend’s other films were able to match even a third of Taken 3‘s take: The next highest grossing film was Selma, which expanded to over 2,000 locations this weekend, with $11.2 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Taken 3' to take over

After The Hobbit‘s three consecutive weekends on top, it’s time for its reign as box office champ to end when Taken 3 hits theaters this weekend.

The action film is—obviously—the third in the Taken series, which has done pretty well at the box office in the past: The first earned $24.7 million its first weekend in 2009 and ended its run with a $145 million domestic total, while the second opened with $49.5 million in 2012 and in total made $139.8 million domestically. And, thanks to its status as an action film—and as a part of a successful trilogy—the film is poised to nab the number one spot at the box office this weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Hobbit' wins again

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the victor of the holiday season box office: The film has nabbed the No. 1 spot for three weekends in a row.

The Hobbit is following in the footsteps of its predecessors — both movies also spent three consecutive weeks as the box office winner — but its numbers aren’t as impressive. While An Unexpected Journey made $31.9 million its third weekend and The Desolation of Smaug $29 million, The Battle of the Five Armies made $21.9 million.

Though a third-weekend total of $21.9 million isn’t disappointing by most standards — Unbroken and Into the Woods didn’t even reach the $20 million mark in their second weekends — it does show that the appetite for The Hobbit has weakened, however slightly, over time. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'The Hobbit' continues its strong run, 'Woman in Black 2' debuts

December was full of wide releases, from family-friendly films like Annie to darker fantasies like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies—but in the first weekend of the new year, there’s only one huge release: The Woman in Black 2, the sequel to 2012’s horror starring Daniel Radcliffe, is opening in about 2,600 locations.

The first Woman in Black made $20.8 million its debut weekend in February 2012—much more than expected—and it went on to make $54.3 million total in the U.S. While these numbers could indicate the film’s sequel will have a similarly successful debut weekend, the movie also has some factors working against it, including its cast: Radcliffe was a big draw with the first one, especially since The Woman in Black came out just a year after the Harry Potter film series ended, when audiences were extra invested in the actor—but the follow-up doesn’t feature any recognizable stars.

It’s also arriving in theaters at a time when audiences still have multiple new, much-hyped films to see, such as Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and the musical Into the Woods—and when Night at the Museum and Annie are holding onto their spots in the top five thanks to moviegoers looking for PG-rated options. But there’s hope The Woman in Black 2 could crack the top five. Here’s how it could play out:


Box office report: 'The Hobbit,' 'Unbroken' beat 'Into the Woods'

Betting against Disney is usually a bad idea, but not this time: Into the Woods opened this weekend and came in third at the box office behind The Hobbit and Unbroken.

But just because Into the Woods didn’t top the box office doesn’t mean it bombed. The film grossed $15.1 million Christmas day, meaning it had the fourth largest Christmas day opening gross in history behind 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, 2012’s Les Miserables, and this year’s Unbroken. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'The Interview' eyes strong limited release, 'Into the Woods' opens


After dozens of leaked emails, one scary threat, and some flip-flopping later, it’s official: The Interview isn’t opening wide on Christmas day as planned, but it will be available in more than 200 locations across the country. (You can see the full list here.)

The Interview will likely bring in strong numbers due to the overwhelming amount of controversy surrounding the film in recent days. Tickets are already selling fast, and people will go see it not just because it’s a comedy they’re interested in but because going to the theater to see it is a statement.

But because it is only opening in a limited number of locationsmore than 200 as of nowThe Interview won’t have a chance to make a big dent in the box officeor to get a spot in the top five. These spots are reserved for Into the Woods, Unbroken, andmaybeThe Gambler. All three are opening in at least 2,000 theaters Christmas day, and all but one (sorry, Gambler) have great chances of dominating the weekend box office.

But they still have some solid competition in the form of some older films: The Hobbit came out last weekend and grossed $54.7 million from Friday to Sunday, a total that won’t likely drop any more than 50 percentif even that. Annie and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb also arrived in theaters last weekend and made about $16 million each, but Night at the Museum is more likely to stay ahead this weekend thanks to families who want to use the time off to head to the moviesand whose kids aren’t thrilled by the idea of a light musical (Annie) or a darker one (Into the Woods). READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Hobbit' wins the weekend's battle

Although there were three huge wide releases in theaters this weekend, the third and final Hobbit beat them all by a landslide. The Peter Jackson film brought in $56.2 million over the weekend (and $90.6 million since its Wednesday opening), while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie — all films showing in more than 3,000 locations — made almost $40 million less.

This is a win at the weekend box office, but compared to the rest of the Hobbit films, The Battle of the Five Armies didn’t fare as well: The first film in the trilogy made $84.6 million its opening weekend while the second took in $73.6 million.

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