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NORTH AMERICA: 4-Day Weekend Actuals: 'American Sniper' Rockets Past Expectations with a Record-Breaking $107.2M; 'Paddington' a Promising #2 with $25.5M; 'The Wedding Ringer' #3 with $24.0M on January 20, 2015

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By Daniel Garris

Warner's American Sniper broke out in a big way this weekend with a massive $107.21 million in its first four days of wide release. The Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper had clearly been building up major momentum leading up to its wide release and ultimately exploded out of the gate this weekend to a degree that nobody was expecting. With a three-day gross of $89.27 million, American Sniper easily established new opening weekend records for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and for the month of January as it outpaced the $41.52 million take of previous record holder, last year's Ride Along, by an astounding 115 percent. With the addition of a very strong performance in three weeks of platform release (which clearly helped build up buzz for the film), American Sniper has grossed $110.64 million through Monday.

In a break-out performance of this size, American Sniper clearly appealed to various audience demographics and to moviegoers throughout the country. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 years of age (63 percent). American Sniper also received an added boost from the strong performance of its fairly last-minute IMAX release, which was responsible for an estimated $10.82 million of the film's overall gross this weekend.

With no potential blockbuster performers arriving in the marketplace over the next two weeks, American Sniper is in perfect position to continue to dominate the box office throughout the rest of January. The film received an exceptional A+ rating on CinemaScore.

It was a tight race for second place between Paddington and The Wedding Ringer this weekend. While The Wedding Ringer placed in second over the three-day frame, Paddington moved into second place over the four-day frame.

Paddington took in respective three-day and four-day grosses of $18.97 million and $25.49 million. The family film from The Weinstein Company debuted on the high end of expectations. Paddington opened just 1 percent below the $25.70 million four-day start of The Nut Job over Martin Luther King weekend last year, which was quite respectable given that Paddington didn't have the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions that The Nut Job and most other family films have. Paddington received an A rating on CinemaScore, which is a promising early sign for the film going forward.

Sony's The Wedding Ringer was off to a respectable start with respective three-day and four-day grosses of $20.65 million and $24.04 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. The Wedding Ringer opened 14 percent below the $27.84 million four-day start of last year's About Last Night, but will likely hold up better going forward than About Last Night did (due in part to that film being a Valentine's Day release). Potential for The Wedding Ringer was no doubt limited at least somewhat by the breakout performance of American Sniper with adult moviegoers. The Wedding Ringer received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start Fox's Taken 3 was down three spots and a sharp 56.5 percent to land in fourth place with $17.05 million over the four-day frame. Audience overlap with American Sniper has clearly led to increased front-loading for Taken 3. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise has grossed $65.84 million in eleven days. That places the film a reasonable 25 percent behind the $87.80 million eleven-day take of 2012's Taken 2. Taken 3 grossed $14.72 million over the three-day frame.

Selma rounded out the weekend's top five with a four-day take of $13.85 million. The Best Picture nominee from Paramount was up a healthy 22.5 percent over last weekend's three-day performance. The film was helped out this weekend by the Martin Luther King holiday (Monday's $5.07 million performance represented an 86.5 percent increase over Sunday) and by its Best Picture nomination. Selma has grossed $31.51 million after eleven days of wide release. While Selma is performing softer than was widely anticipated, the film is still having a respectable run thus far with its modest price tag in mind. Selma took in $8.78 million over the three-day frame.

Four-day holiday weekend grosses for other Best Picture nominees included $8.02 million for The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game (playing in 1,611 locations), $1.87 million for Fox Searchlight's Birdman (playing in 471 locations) and $1.18 million for Focus' The Theory of Everything (playing in 509 locations). Respective current total grosses stand at $51.62 million for The Imitation Game, at $28.59 million for Birdman and at $27.49 million for The Theory of Everything.

Meanwhile, Universal's Blackhat was dead on arrival this weekend with $4.49 million over the four-day frame. The Michael Mann directed film starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in eleventh place and opened well below its already modest expectations. The decision to open Blackhat against American Sniper (and one week after Taken 3) always seemed like a puzzling one and Blackhat simply couldn't find an audience this weekend due in part to that decision. The film debuted 75 percent below the $18.03 million start of last year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Long term prospects for Blackhat are bleak and the film having received a poor C- rating on CinemaScore won't help matters either. Blackhat grossed $3.90 million over the three-day frame.

AHC 15 Keynote Interview: Anne Thompson, Founder and Editor in Chief, Thompson on Hollywood on January 20, 2015

Art House Convergence 2015: The Keynote Speakers

Interview with Anne Thompson, Founder and Editor in Chief, Thompson on Hollywood

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by Daniel Loria

Anne Thompson is among the best-known entertainment-industry journalists working today. She has served as an editor in some of the most respected trade publications, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere, and Film Comment. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, and Entertainment Weekly, among many other outlets. Her book, The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System, is available from HarperCollins. Thompson continues to cover the film industry through her blog, Thompson on Hollywood. BoxOffice spoke with Anne Thompson ahead of her keynote address at Art House Convergence to get her insight on the latest topics affecting theatrical exhibition today.

What would you say is the current state of the exhibition industry?

The transition to digital is well under way, and while the theaters have made the move to digital projection, I don't think the industry as a whole has figured out what the new model is going to be. There's a lot of innovation and experimentation on the independent side, and there's also a lot of pressure on the studio side for theaters to shorten their windows. I think that kind of give-and-take, push and pull, will continue to play out. And I don't think that's going to be easy or necessarily pleasant. I think it's going to be more and more challenging for everybody to step up their game and be open to innovation and experimentation and figuring out ways to reach audiences-figuring out the right film to show to their individual communities. This is not a time for following formulas or doing things the way you've always done them. This is a time to really stay ahead of the game. 

Studios seem to be spending more money on fewer films. Has this opened an even greater opportunity for independent and foreign cinema in North America?

I think the biggest mistake that Hollywood is making is that they're gearing so much of their product to the foreign marketplace and not offering enough diversity at different times of the year domestically. On the independent side, there is more opportunity for discovery of incredibly compelling, original movies that are not as formulaic. I think that's the most exciting thing: exhibitors can be more aggressive about seeking out the films that exist away from established avenues.

Do you believe attitudes concerning day-and-date VOD releases will change significantly in the near future?

I think we're still in an experimental phase. Theaters that are in the VOD space are trying out different things and figuring out what works for them and what works for different kinds of movies. I would like to see more transparency in knowing what the VOD numbers actually are. The more information we have, the more numbers we are working with, the better it will be for everyone involved. A lot of people simply don't know what those numbers are and make a lot of projections and assumptions that may or may not be based on fact. The sweet spot for VOD seems to be when you can establish a brand, get reviews, get a certain buzz going in the marketplace. 


With so many of the bigger exhibition chains investing money in new projection technology and value-added features like luxury seating, what can independent exhibitors do in order to stand out in the market?

I think Alamo Drafthouse has innovated beautifully in this space. They figured out a way to cater to the cinephiles without ruining the moviegoing experience. I think focusing on the experience is going to continue to be an important way to lure moviegoers to cinemas at a time when they're becoming more comfortable watching films in their living rooms. As digital living rooms become more common, comfortable, and sophisticated, it is going to become even more difficult for theaters to pull people out of their homes to see films. That's why I believe programming is the most important thing. Of course the quality of the experience counts, but the quality of the movie is primary. It's something I've learned in my own work as a blogger: you have to reach farther and find the right content in order to get people to read you. You have to reach people with the right hook; you have to reach people with the right topic. I think the same is true for exhibitors. It's about knowing your constituents and knowing how to reach them.

BoxOffice @ Art House Convergence: An Introduction on January 19, 2015

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by Russ Collins

In January, we are reminded of Janus (no, not the legendary distribution company, the Roman god), and are compelled to reflect back and look toward our future simultaneously. The Art House Convergence began as an idea, emerging from the first meeting of the Sundance Institute Art House Project in January 2006. There were 12 exhibitors in attendance and two dozen delegates. This year, our annual conference will have over 450 attendees from all over North America, as well as many international colleagues.

Besides the annual conference, the Art House Convergence now presents regional seminars, hosts the Art House Visiting Members program, and will be launching the newly expanded Sundance Institute Art House Project as a Good Housekeeping institutional validation program in participation with the Sundance Institute in January 2015. In addition to this growth, the IFP Festival Forum partners with the convergence during the annual January conference, providing networking and educational opportunities to film-festival professionals.

The key purpose of the Art House Convergence is to increase the quantity and quality of art-house cinema exhibition in North America. We do this by encouraging cinema exhibition that is innovative, inclusive, strives for win-win solutions, and promotes functionality and success, both financial and in terms of a humanistic and communitarian ethos. Our conferences focus on the education and professional development necessary to operate the community-minded, incredibly passionate art-house exhibitors we represent.

The result: the convergence movement has grown, and a sense of unity and camaraderie is building among art-house cinemas in North America. Art-house cinemas are looking beyond mere profit and are enthusiastically embracing a community cultural mission. For many if not most art-house operators, there has always been a mission, but now, collectively validated, it has grown much deeper. For the last eight years, our art-house community has celebrated this sense of community and unity at the Art House Convergence. Our collaborations with the IFP Festival Forum, our Art House Visiting Members program, and our upcoming Sundance Institute Art House Project program work to build that art-house community with not just cinema exhibitors but also with our cinema audiences.

We deeply appreciate the opportunity to partner with BoxOffice Pro for [their coverage] with a focus on art-house exhibition. Though we have many of the same burdens and opportunities as our commercial exhibitors, there are a few unique qualities to being an art-house exhibitor, and we are grateful to BoxOffice Pro for allowing us to share our stories.

Russ Collins is the founder of Art House Convergence and has served as CEO of the Michigan Theater since 1982.

 

GLOBAL REPORT: 'The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies' Passes $800 Million; 'Taken 3' Nears $100 Million Overseas; 'Seventh Son' Passes $60 Million Before North American Debut on January 18, 2015

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Taken 3 grossed another $31.4 million overseas, pushing its cume to $99 million. The action flick's top international market this weekend was the UK with $5.4 million from 800 locations. The global cume is now $147.8 million.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb raked in $17.8 million for an overseas total of $179.9 million. Globally, Secret of the Tomb is up to $280.8 million.

Penguins of Madagascar earned $16.3 million, pushing its overseas cume to $225.6 million. The animated effort is now up to $305.7 million globally.

A #1 debut frame of $15 million in China helped Seventh Son's overseas tally hit $21.7 million. The action flick has already grossed $60.5 million internationally before opening in North America.

Exodus: Gods and Kings added $10.9 million, pushing its overseas cume to $185.8 million. The epic is up to $249.8 million globally.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies took in $9.8 million for an overseas cume of $558.6 million. Globall, Five Armies is up to $803.1 million globally.

Expanding on its staggering North American wide debut, American Sniper added $9.3 million from 8 markets for an early overseas tally of $25.4 million. 

The Theory of Everything snagged another $8 million overseas for a solid international total of $31 million. The global total is $58.5 million.

Into the Woods added another $7.3 million overseas, pushing its total abroad to $26 million. Globally, the musical is now up to $140.3 million.

Big Hero 6 tacked on additional $7.2 million internationally this. Disney's animated flick has earned an impressive $212.2 million overseas, and its global haul is $428.3 million.

Unbroken posted $6.6 million overseas this weekend, The Angelina Jolie-directed drama is now up to $21.8 million internationally. Globally, Unbroken is up to $131.2 million.

Blackhat debuted in 19 overseas territories this weekend, earning $2.2 million. Combined with the weak North American opening, the cyber thriller has earned $6.8 million. 

NORTH AMERICA: 4-Day Weekend Estimates: 'American Sniper' Rockets Past Expectations with a Massive $105.3M; 'Paddington' a Promising #2 with $25.2M; 'The Wedding Ringer' #3 with $24.5M on January 17, 2015

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Monday Update:

Warner's American Sniper broke out in a big way this weekend with a massive estimated $105.31 million in its first four days of wide release. The Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper had clearly been building up major momentum leading up to its wide release and ultimately exploded out of the gate this weekend to a degree that nobody was expecting. With an estimated three-day gross of $89.51 million, American Sniper easily established new opening weekend records for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend and for the month of January as it outpaced the $41.52 million take of previous record holder, last year's Ride Along, by an astounding 116 percent. With the addition of a very strong performance in three weeks of platform release (which clearly helped build up buzz for the film), American Sniper has grossed $108.73 million through Monday.

In a break-out performance of this size, American Sniper clearly appealed to various audience demographics and to moviegoers throughout the country. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 years of age (63 percent).

With no potential blockbuster performers arriving in the marketplace over the next two weeks, American Sniper is in perfect position to continue to dominate the box office throughout the rest of January. The film received an exceptional A+ rating on CinemaScore.

American Sniper received an added boost from its fairly last-minute IMAX release. IMAX grosses totaled $10.63 million over the four-day frame, which represented 10.1 percent of the film's overall gross over the holiday weekend.

It was a tight race for second place between Paddington and The Wedding Ringer this weekend. While The Wedding Ringer placed in second over the three-day frame, Paddington moved into second place over the four-day frame.

Paddington took in respective three-day and four-day estimated grosses of $18.97 million and $25.21 million. The family film from The Weinstein Company debuted on the high end of expectations. Paddington opened just 2 percent below the $25.70 million four-day start of The Nut Job over Martin Luther King weekend last year, which was quite respectable given that Paddington didn't have the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions that The Nut Job and most other family films have. Paddington received an A rating on CinemaScore, which is a promising early sign for the film going forward.

Sony's The Wedding Ringer was off to a respectable start with respective three-day and four-day estimated grosses of $20.6 million and $24.5 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. The Wedding Ringer opened 12 percent below the $27.84 million four-day start of last year's About Last Night, but will likely hold up better going forward than About Last Night did (due in part to that film being a Valentine's Day release). Potential for The Wedding Ringer was no doubt limited at least somewhat by the breakout performance of American Sniper with adult moviegoers. The Wedding Ringer received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start Fox's Taken 3 was down three spots and a sharp 56 percent to land in fourth place with an estimated $17.4 million over the four-day frame. Audience overlap with American Sniper has clearly led to increased front-loading for Taken 3. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise has grossed $66.19 million in eleven days. That places the film a reasonable 25 percent behind the $87.80 million eleven-day take of 2012's Taken 2. The revised three-day estimate for Taken 3 stands at $14.63 million.

Selma rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated four-day take of $11.5 million. The Best Picture nominee from Paramount was up a healthy 2 percent over last weekend's three-day performance. The film was helped out this weekend by the Martin Luther King holiday and by its Best Picture nomination. Selma has grossed $29.16 million after eleven days of wide release. While Selma is performing softer than was widely anticipated, the film is still having a respectable run thus far with its modest price tag in mind. The revised three-day estimate for Selma is $8.79 million.

Estimated four-day holiday weekend grosses for other Best Picture nominees included $8.07 million for The Weinstein Company's The Imitation Game (playing in 1,611 locations), $1.84 million for Fox Searchlight's Birdman (playing in 471 locations), $1.19 million for Focus' The Theory of Everything (playing in 509 locations) and $0.44 million for Sony Pictures Classics' Whiplash (playing in 189 locations). Respective current total grosses stand at $51.67 million for The Imitation Game, at $28.57 million for Birdman, at $27.51 million for The Theory of Everything and at $6.67 million for Whiplash.

Meanwhile, Universal's Blackhat was dead on arrival this weekend with an estimated $4.42 million over the four-day frame. The Michael Mann directed film starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in eleventh place and opened well below its already modest expectations. The decision to open Blackhat against American Sniper (and one week after Taken 3) always seemed like a puzzling one and Blackhat simply couldn't find an audience this weekend. The film debuted 75.5 percent below the $18.03 million start of last year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Long term prospects for Blackhat are bleak and the film having received a poor C- rating on CinemaScore won't help matters either. The revised three-day estimate for Blackhat is $3.8 million.

Sunday Update:

By Daniel Garris

Warner's American Sniper broke out this weekend with a massive estimated $90.21 million in its first three days of wide release. The Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper had clearly been building up major momentum leading up to its wide release and ultimately exploded out of the gate this weekend to a degree that nobody was expecting. American Sniper easily established a new opening weekend record for the month of January as it outpaced the $41.52 million take of previous record holder, last year's Ride Along, by an astounding 117 percent. American Sniper performed 138 percent stronger than the $37.85 million grossed by Lone Survivor in its first weekend of wide release last year. With the addition of a very strong performance in three weeks of platform release (which clearly helped build up buzz for the film), American Sniper has grossed $93.63 million through Sunday. Warner Bros. is estimating a four-day take of $105.2 million for American Sniper.

In a break-out performance of this size, American Sniper clearly appealed to various audience demographics and to moviegoers throughout the country. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (57 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 years of age (63 percent).

American Sniper took in $30.5 million on Friday (which included an estimated $5.3 million from Thursday night shows), increased an impressive 14 percent on Saturday to gross $34.71 million and is estimated to decline 28 percent on Sunday to take in $25.00 million. That places the film's estimated 3-day weekend to Friday ratio at 2.96 to 1. With no potential blockbuster performers arriving in the marketplace the next two weeks, American Sniper is in position to continue to dominate the box office throughout the rest of January. The film received an exceptional A+ rating on CinemaScore.

American Sniper received an added boost from its fairly last-minute IMAX release. IMAX grosses totaled $9.5 million this weekend, which represented 10.5 percent of the film's overall gross over the three-day frame.

While it finished in a very distant second place over the three-day frame, Sony's The Wedding Ringer was off to a respectable estimated start of $21.0 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. The Wedding Ringer opened 18 percent below the $25.65 million three-day start of last year's About Last Night, but will likely hold up better going forward than About Last Night did (due in part to that film being a Valentine's Day release). Potential for The Wedding Ringer was no doubt limited at least somewhat by the breakout performance of American Sniper. BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a four-day take of $24.8 million for The Wedding Ringer.

The Wedding Ringer opened with $7.01 million on Friday, increased 20 percent on Saturday to gross $8.44 million and is estimated to fall 34 percent on Sunday to gross $5.56 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.00 to 1. The Wedding Ringer received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore.

Paddington finished closely behind in third with an estimated $19.29 million. The family film from The Weinstein Company debuted on the high end of expectations. Paddington opened just 1 percent below the $19.42 million start of The Nut Job over Martin Luther King weekend last year, which was quite respectable given that Paddington didn't have the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions that The Nut Job and most other family films have. BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a four-day take of $25.8 million for Paddington, which would move the film into second place over the four-day frame.

Paddington opened with $4.66 million on Friday, increased a very strong 80 percent on Saturday to take in $8.36 million and is estimated to decline 25 percent on Sunday to gross $6.27 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 4.14 to 1, which signals just how heavily the film is skewing towards family audiences. Paddington received an A rating on CinemaScore, which is a promising early sign for the film going forward.

On the heels of last weekend's stronger than expected start, Fox's Taken 3 was down three spots and a sharp 64 percent to land in fourth place with an estimated $14.05 million over the three-day frame. Audience overlap with American Sniper has clearly led to increased front-loading for Taken 3. The third installment of the Liam Neeson led franchise has grossed $62.84 million in ten days. That places the film 27 percent behind the $86.13 million ten-day take of 2012's Taken 2 (which fell 56 percent in its second weekend of release to gross $21.87 million). BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a four-day gross of $16.5 million for Taken 3.

Selma rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated three-day take of $8.3 million. The Best Picture nominee from Paramount was down just 27 percent from last weekend. The film was helped out this weekend by the Martin Luther King holiday and by its Best Picture nomination. Selma has grossed $25.96 million after ten days of wide release. While Selma is performing softer than was widely anticipated, the film is still having a respectable run thus far with its modest price tag in mind. Paramount is currently estimating a four-day take of $10.3 million for Selma.

Fellow Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game finished in sixth with an estimated $7.19 million over the three-day frame. The critically acclaimed film from The Weinstein Company was unchanged from last weekend. The Imitation Game surpassed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed $50.79 million to date. BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a four-day gross of $8.8 million for The Imitation Game.

Meanwhile, Universal's Blackhat was dead on arrival this weekend with an estimated $4.03 million. The Michael Mann directed film starring Chris Hemsworth debuted in tenth place and opened well below its already modest expectations. The decision to open Blackhat against American Sniper (and one week after Taken 3) always seemed like a puzzling one and Blackhat simply couldn't find an audience this weekend. The film debuted 74 percent below the $15.45 million start of last year's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Long term prospects for Blackhat are bleak and the film having received a poor C- rating on CinemaScore won't help matters either. Universal is estimating a four-day start of $4.6 million for Blackhat.

Saturday Update:

By Shawn Robbins

Warner Bros. reports that American Sniper brought in an outstanding $30.5 million on Friday, including $5.3 million from Thursday night shows and $3.1 million from IMAX shows. That easily usurps the previous January opening day record of $17.2 million by 2008's Cloverfield (not to mention director Clint Eastwood's previous best $9.6 million first wide release day by Gran Torino in 2009). Looking at all movies, the previous January record for a single-day gross was held by Avatar ($25.8 million).

Following weeks of stellar box office results ($3.3 million) from just 4 theaters in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas, Sniper's momentum snowballed through social media power (trending above all films during that time on Twitter and Facebook), strong reviews and word of mouth (particularly surrounding Bradley Cooper's performance as Chris Kyle), and of course, Thursday's Best Picture and Best Actor Oscar nominations.

To further put this opening in perspective, last year's Lone Survivor expanded into wide release with a $14.4 million opening day. Early word of mouth appears strong for Sniper with an 86 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience/Flixster score (on par with Survivor's 85 percent one day after its expansion), while the film also received an excellent "A+" CinemaScore. BoxOffice projects the biopic will take in a stunning $76 million over the 3-day weekend and $89 million for the 4-day Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend. The previous record-holder was last year's Ride Along ($41.5 million/$48.6 million). Higher totals could be in store when all is said and done, but competition from NFL games on Sunday will likely have an impact. With a generally unexpected opening of this size, historical comparisons may be somewhat unreliable.

Also posting a strong debut of its own yesterday was The Wedding Ringer, earning $7.0 million in second place. The latest Kevin Hart comedy from Sony is on track to cover its $23 million production budget by the end of opening weekend, making this yet another win for the comedian's box office drawing power. The film's early RT/Flixster audience score is 78 percent, similar to Ride Along (79 percent). BoxOffice is projecting $20.5 million 3-day and $23.5 million 4-day frames, which would make it the best R-rated comedy opener in January history.

Opening in third place on Friday was The Weinstein Company's Paddington, taking in an excellent $4.7 million and making it the studio's best animated debut in their history (topping Escape from Planet Earth's $3.7 million first day). Based on the popular children's books, Paddington has garnered a fantastic 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes critics' score from over 100 reviews, while the audience score stands at a very encouraging 87 percent this morning. BoxOffice projects $18.7 million for the 3-day frame and $24.8 million over the 4-day. Expect solid legs in the weeks to come as families turn out for the beloved property.

In fourth place yesterday, Taken 3 slipped 71 percent from opening day last week to $4.25 million. The franchise sequel has earned $53 million domestically to-date. Look for a $13.8 million 3-day weekend and $16.5 million 4-day frame.

Selma took fifth place with $2.36 million yesterday, bringing its total to $20 million thus far. BoxOffice projects $8.9 million for the 3-day and $11.8 million for the 4-day.

Meanwhile, The Imitation Game added $1.88 million on its first Friday post-Oscar nominations. The film's total stands at $45.5 million and should earn $7 million and $8.6 million over the 3- and 4-day frames, respectively.

Unfortunately, Blackhat was overshadowed by the slew of new releases as it brought in just $1.4 million yesterday. The timely cybercrime flick is expected to tally $4.1 million for the 3-day and $4.7 million over the 4-day.

Top 10 -- 3-Day / 4-Day Weekend Estimates:

1. American Sniper ($76 million / $89 million)
2. The Wedding Ringer ($20.5 million / $23.5 million)
3. Paddington ($18.7 million / $24.8 million)
4. Taken 3 ($13.8 million / $16.5 million)
5. Selma ($8.9 million / $11.8 million)
6. Into the Woods ($7.7 million / $10.6 million)
7. The Imitation Game ($7.0 million / $8.6 million)
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ($4.9 million / $6.0 million)
9. Unbroken ($4.2 million / $5.0 million)
10. Blackhat ($4.1 million / $4.7 million)

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

Follow Shawn Robbins and BoxOffice on Twitter


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