Saturday 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.
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.