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NORTH AMERICA: 'American Sniper' Pursues More Records w/ $65M Sophomore Frame; 'The Boy Next Door' Nets $15.7M; 'Strange Magic ($5M) and 'Mortdecai' ($4.5M) Draw the Short End on January 24, 2015

jan23wknd.pngSaturday Update: Warner Bros. reports American Sniper eased just 40 percent from last Friday to $18.33 million yesterday, easily holding onto first place. To date, the blockbuster war drama has earned $154.1 million domestically. BoxOffice projects a $65 million haul this weekend. Should that hold, it would be one of the top eight sophomore weekends in history (second only to Avatar and the original Spider-Man among non-sequels), and the biggest ever second weekend gross for a non-franchise movie -- topping The Passion of the Christ's $53.2 million second frame. Sniper is currently running 68 percent ahead of where Gravity stood at the same point, and is currently in line with the eight-day $153 million take posted by Passion in 2004. The Bradley Cooper-led, Clint Eastwood-helmed Oscar nominee should approach, if not cross, the $200 million domestic mark by the end of the weekend.

The Boy Next Door grabbed a solid $5.7 million in its first day on Friday. The Jennifer Lopez thriller is on target to bring in $15.7 million over its debut weekend, a positive start for the micro-budget flick.

The Wedding Ringer added $3.3 million yesterday, down 53 percent from its opening day last weekend. With $31.4 million in the bank through 8 days of release, BoxOffice projects a $10.9 million sophomore frame.

Paddington eased 44 percent from opening day last week to $2.6 million on Friday, giving the well-received animated adaptation a $30.3 million domestic total through eight days of release. BoxOffice projects $12.4 million for the weekend.

The Imitation Game tacked on another $1.92 million yesterday as it added another 414 theaters this weekend. The multiple Oscar nominee has tallied $55.4 million thus far. BoxOffice projects a $7.5 million weekend.

Unfortunately, the other two openers this weekend struggled to find an audience in a crowded marketplace. Mortdecai bowed to $1.47 million on Friday, setting it on a course for a $4.5 million weekend. Meanwhile, Strange Magic pulled $1.3 million on its first day and is expected to tally around $5 million for its opening weekend.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

- Shawn Robbins

Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that American Sniper is headed for more than $55 million during its sophomore frame, which means it will end up with close to $200 million by Sunday. 

The Boy Next Door is clearly connecting with key female demos, and it's on pace for north of $16 million.

Both Mortdecai and Strange Magic will open to around $6 million-$7 million. Mortdecai's debut marks another disappointment for star Johnny Depp.

Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio numbers.

Update #1: Sources report that The Boy Next Door landed an estimated $500,000 from Thursday's opening shows, a good start for the low-budget thriller starring Jennifer Lopez. Comparisons are somewhat few and far between, although last night's early take was in line with Nightcrawler's $515,000 Thursday haul back in October.

Also opening this weekend are Mortdecai and Strange Magic. Ultimately, though, the big story of the weekend will be how well American Sniper holds on in its sophomore frame of wide release.

More as it comes.

NORTH AMERICA: 'American Sniper' Rockets to $135.77M after Leading Thursday with $7.66M on January 23, 2015

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's American Sniper took in an impressive $7.66 million on Thursday to lead the daily box office with ease for a seventh consecutive day. The Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper was up 1 percent over Wednesday. American Sniper rocketed past expectations this week with a massive $132.35 million in its first week of wide release. That brings the film's total gross to $135.77 million. American Sniper is currently running 67 percent ahead of the $79.13 million seven-day take of 2013's Gravity. Given its strong holding power throughout the week, American Sniper is in great shape to experience a very strong hold over the weekend.

The Wedding Ringer held steady in second with $1.18 million. Sony's modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad was up 2 percent over Wednesday's performance. The Wedding Ringer took second place for the week with a seven-day start of $28.08 million. That was on the lower end of pre-release expectations and places the film 9 percent behind the $30.75 million seven-day take of last year's About Last Night. The Wedding Ringer has been displaying stronger holding power than About Last Night so far and is very likely to continue to do so going forward.

Fox's Taken 3 grossed $0.757 million to remain in third place. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise up 5 percent from Wednesday, but still down a sharp 57 percent from last Thursday. Taken 3 placed in fourth for the week with $19.66 million and has grossed $68.45 million in two weeks of release. That places the film a reasonable 26 percent behind the $92.57 million two-week take of 2012's Taken 2.

Selma continued to claim fourth place with $0.708 million. The Best Picture nominee from Paramount was up an impressive 17 percent over Wednesday and down 37 percent from last Thursday. Selma held up very nicely this week with a fifth place take of $16.06 million. That represented a 4 percent increase over the previous week and brings the film's current domestic total to a promising $33.72 million.

Fellow Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game followed in fifth place with $0.626 million. Like Selma, The Imitation Game was also up 17 percent over Wednesday. The Weinstein Company release was down a slim 25 percent from last Thursday. The Imitation Game placed in sixth for the week with $9.89 million. The film was down just 5 percent from the previous frame and has grossed $53.51 million to date.

Fellow Weinstein Company release Paddington placed in sixth with $0.603 million. The well received family film increased 6 percent over Wednesday. For the week, Paddington finished just behind The Wedding Ringer to take third place for the frame with a seven-day start of $27.67 million. Paddington is performing in line with expectations and is running 1 percent behind the $27.96 million seven-day take of last year's The Nut Job.

Meanwhile, Universal's Blackhat rounded out its first week of release with a tenth place take of $0.282 million. The Michael Mann directed film starring Chris Hemsworth grossed a very disappointing $5.43 million in its first seven days. Blackhat landed all the way down in eleventh for the week and will obviously fade away from theatres quickly.

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Becomes First Franchise to Win Consecutive Box Office Years on January 22, 2015

hungergamemockingjay.pngBy Shawn Robbins

What became seemingly inevitable over the holidays finally came to fruition on Wednesday: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, with an otherwise anti-climactic daily gross of $106,407, overtook Guardians of the Galaxy as North America's top domestic grosser of 2014. The former's total now stands at $333.18 million -- topping the latter's most recently reported tally of $333.17 million.

Why, nearly one month into the new year, is this newsworthy?

For starters, it's the first time any franchise has ever "won" back-to-back box office years. For all the Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Twilight, and superhero movies out there, Katniss Everdeen is the first iconic character to champion two straight calendar victories. (Of course, scheduling, competition, and a bevy of other factors weigh in here... but that's beside the point.)

By extension, it's also the first time any studio has won back-to-back years in the modern box office tracking era (an impressive feat for the recently-minted seventh major studio, Lionsgate).

BoxOffice previously analyzed the full perspective of what Mockingjay - Part 1's top annual ranking could mean before the film's release last November. The penultimate franchise chapter may have fallen somewhat short of many industry expectations, but that's a minor footnote against an otherwise impressive accomplishment. Nothing is taken away from Guardians' spectacular run either.

For what it's worth, this is the second straight year the Hunger Games franchise upset Disney and Marvel for the top domestic spot (Catching Fire led the way past Iron Man 3 in 2013). Will the story repeat again for 2015 as Lionsgate closes out its biggest success to-date come November? Possibly, but we're fairly confident Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron will have something to say about that.

Follow Shawn Robbins and BoxOffice on Twitter

NORTH AMERICA: 'American Sniper' Closes In On Staggering $130 Million In Six Days on January 22, 2015

jan16.pngWarner Bros. reports American Sniper added another $7.56 million in first place on Wednesday, bringing its total up to $128.1 million. The Chris Kyle biopic starring Bradley Cooper, and directed by Clint Eastwood, has already amassed a higher total gross in six days of wide release than Lone Survivor's entire $125.1 million domestic run last year.

In second place, The Wedding Ringer took in $1.15 million yesterday. The Kevin Hart comedy's six-day total is $26.9 million, 10 percent off the pace of About Last Night.

Taken 3 slotted third on Wednesday with another $0.72 million, down 66 percent from last Wednesday. The Liam Neeson action sequel has earned $67.7 million through 13 days of release.

In fourth place, Selma added $0.6 million for a 39.5 percent week-to-week drop. The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic has earned $33.0 million domestically thus far.

Paddington claimed fifth place yesterday with a $0.57 million take, giving the film a six-day start of $27.1 million -- less than 1 percent behind the pace of The Nut Job.

Meanwhile, Blackhat grossed $0.27 million yesterday. Its six-day cume is $5.15 million.

 

'American Sniper' Smashing Records in Second Weekend Sales on Fandango on January 22, 2015

sniper.pngLOS ANGELES - January 21, 2015 - According to Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination, "American Sniper" continues to stay on target, with this weekend's top ticket sales and a surefire 87 out of 100 points on Fandango's Fanticipation movie buzz indicator.

"Sniper" is on track to see landmark weekend sales, marking:

· The biggest second weekend of any January wide release in Fandango history;

· Second weekend sales that are bigger than the first weekend sales of the previous top January openers ("Lone Survivor" and "Ride Along") on Fandango.

"‘American Sniper' is unstoppable and its hot daily ticket sales show no signs of letting up," says Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger. "Clint Eastwood's award-nominated film is currently on track for an historic second weekend, as it continues to smash January records."

Fandango Movieclips has compiled the most memorable scenes from Bradley Cooper's movies in "The Ultimate Bradley Cooper Supercut." The mashup video can be viewed at http://www.fandango.com/movie-trailer/bradleycoopermashup-trailer/177733?autoplay=true&mpxId=2646910007.

About Fandango's Fanticipation

Known for having its finger on the pulse of moviegoers, Fandango's movie buzz indicator, Fanticipation, provides statistical insight into the movies fans are planning to see in a given weekend. Fanticipation scores (based on a 1 to 100-point scale) are calculated via an algorithm of Fandango's advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement. Fanticipation is not intended as a forecast of the weekend box office; it is a snapshot of movie fan sentiment.


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