'American Sniper' Continues to Dominate with $31.85M; 'Project Almanac' Starts Softly with $8.50M; 'Black or White' Lands in Fourth with $6.46M; 'Game of Thrones' Claims a Solid $1.50M in Limited ReleaseFebruary 01, 2015 08:47 AM

by Daniel Garris

Warner's American Sniper dominated the box office for a third consecutive weekend with an estimated $31.85 million. That represented the largest unadjusted Super Bowl weekend gross ever (the previous record being the $31.12 million debut of 2008's Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour). The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was down a sizable 51 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly took a hit this weekend from its target audience being focused on Super Bowl XLIX. American Sniper will likely re-stabilize next weekend with the Super Bowl out of the way. The film has grossed a massive $248.94 million after 17 days of wide release. That places American Sniper a very impressive 47 percent ahead of the $169.56 million 17-day take of 2013's Gravity.

With moviegoers not interested by the weekend's three new wide releases, Paddington moved into second place with an estimated $8.505 million. The well received family film from The Weinstein Company was up one spot from last weekend and down a slim 31 percent. In addition to being aided by good word of mouth, Paddington also likely received an added boost this weekend from family audiences who wanted to catch the film before Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water arrives in the marketplace next weekend. Paddington surpassed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed a very solid $50.54 million in 17 days.

Paramount's Project Almanac was the weekend's top opener with an estimated third place start of $8.50 million (with Paddington and Project Almanac currently only separated by $5,000, the race for second place is obviously too close to call). However, the low-budget sci-fi thriller opened significantly below pre-release expectations, as it failed to spark much interest among moviegoers. Project Almanac opened a very disappointing 57 percent below the $19.88 million start of fellow Platinum Dunes film Ouija this past October. Project Almanac was likely hurt at least somewhat by having been delayed by nearly a year. On a positive note, Project Almanac did receive a B rating on CinemaScore, which is very solid given the film's genre.

Relativity's Black or White debuted in fourth with an estimated $6.46 million. The drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer opened on the high end of its modest expectations, as the film was able to find a bit of audience this weekend despite poor critical reviews. Black or White performed very similarly to the $6.20 million start of Relativity's Beyond the Lights this past November. Black or White received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

The Boy Next Door rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $6.1 million. Universal's low-budget thriller starring Jennifer Lopez was down 3 spots and a very sharp 59 percent from last weekend. The Boy Next Door has grossed a solid $24.69 million in ten days, but is likely to continue to fall off quickly going forward, especially with the upcoming release of Universal's highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey now in the near horizon.

Sony's The Wedding Ringer followed in sixth place with an estimated $5.7 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad fell 50 percent from last weekend. The Wedding Ringer is on the verge of reaching the $50 million mark with a 17-day gross of $48.14 million.

Further down on this weekend's chart nether Open Road's The Loft nor A24's A Most Violent Year were able to pack much punch. The Loft debuted in tenth place with an estimated $2.88 million. Meanwhile, A Most Violent Year landed in thirteenth place with an estimated $1.70 million from 818 locations. The Loft suffered from being given a last minute wide release (after being long delayed), while A Most Violent Year has seen its early momentum come to a halt after not receiving a Best Picture nomination. A Most Violent Year has grossed $3.17 million to date.

Warner's Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience had a far more respectable performance this weekend with an estimated $1.50 million from 205 IMAX locations. That gave the theatrical release consisting of the final two episodes of Season 4 of the popular HBO series a healthy per-location average of $7,322 for the frame. Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience is scheduled to play in IMAX locations through February 5th.

Daily Domestic Gross Tue, Feb. 26 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Feb. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Identity Thief$1,224,36031%3,22257$380$95,778,3553Universal
2Snitch (2013)$1,095,30923%2,511--$436$15,150,4931Lionsgate / Summit
3A Good Day to Die Hard$978,55030%3,5552$275$53,700,0882Fox
4Safe Haven$881,80543%3,2230$274$49,414,6852Relativity Media
5Silver Linings Playbook$694,38524%2,012-190$345$108,431,74515Weinstein Company
6Dark Skies$510,80813%2,313--$221$9,150,4281Weinstein / Dimension
7Escape From Planet Earth$466,01923%3,35365$139$35,658,4702Weinstein Company
8Side Effects (2013)$371,21344%2,070-535$179$25,729,3693Open Road
9Warm Bodies$311,23019%2,644-253$118$58,816,1554Lionsgate / Summit
10Beautiful Creatures (2013)$306,22926%2,9500$104$17,119,0022Warner Bros.
11Zero Dark Thirty$205,15212%1,197-330$171$91,927,11910Sony / Columbia
12Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$173,05322%1,425-678$121$53,259,9865Paramount

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Feb. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$331,50220%572-75$580$114,132,30014Fox
2Argo$262,44316%802-101$327$130,142,24920Warner Bros.
3Quartet$156,96943%35623$441$9,111,3297Weinstein Company
4Django Unchained$142,46011%659-358$216$159,054,4499Weinstein Company
5Lincoln$130,05710%875-132$149$178,851,76516Disney / DreamWorks
6Les Miserables (2012)$99,33010%462-214$215$146,886,3159Universal
7The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$46,8843%388-217$121$301,044,73211Warner Bros. / New Line
8Bless Me, Ultima$36,0728%263--$137$1,016,6981Arenas Entertainment
9Wreck-It Ralph$34,4996%402-104$86$186,743,57917Disney
10The Impossible$33,47843%273-149$123$18,109,62910Lionsgate / Summit
11Kai Po Che$31,98866%110--$291$573,9791UTV Motion Pictures
12Parental Guidance$23,85644%381-222$63$75,813,1429Fox
13Rise of The Guardians$20,48210%305-33$67$102,056,23614Paramount / DreamWorks
14A Haunted House$19,081-2%302-38$63$39,902,2727Open Road
15Gangster Squad$18,98030%202-8$94$45,628,7997Warner Bros.
17The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$15,4321%223-31$69$292,153,90015Lionsgate / Summit
18The Guilt Trip$15,42221%18698$83$36,989,74110Paramount
19Jack Reacher$7,25014%100-75$73$79,479,50010Paramount
20The Last Stand$6,2295%11460$55$12,038,8096Lionsgate
21Bullet to the Head$4,52327%105-365$43$9,405,6084Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Feb. 26 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hyde Park on Hudson$12,16935%65-21$187$6,147,65012Focus
2To the Arctic 3D$8,25561%520$159$11,401,18745Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Broken City$7,37137%98-35$75$19,596,2886Fox
4This is 40$5,76033%96-71$60$67,533,46510Universal
5Stand Up Guys$5,17620%41-78$126$3,273,5964Lionsgate / Roadside
6Born to Be Wild 3D$4,62796%300$154$22,052,25799Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Anna Karenina (2012)$3,92888%28-23$140$12,808,92815Focus
8Hitchcock$1,987-39%162$124$5,968,83414Fox Searchlight
9Texas Chainsaw 3D$1,939-4%44-52$44$34,338,2088Lionsgate
10The Sessions$1,66838%160$104$5,975,35119Fox Searchlight
11Movie 43$1,115-25%21-14$53$8,801,9745Relativity Media
12ABCD - Any Body Can Dance$7649%9-13$85$219,7233UTV Motion Pictures
13A Late Quartet$71855%7-6$103$1,545,95217Entertainment One / RKO
14Camp (2013)$267-49%1--$267$8,5731Freestyle Releasing
15Race 2$137-65%5-6$27$1,579,5285UTV Motion Pictures