Weekend Box Office: American Sniper Stays on Top, Mortdecai Flops

By Chris Kavan - 01/25/15 at 09:02 PM CT

It was another banner weekend for American Sniper - which is good, considering two out of the three new films opening tanked hard. It was good news all around as the top films earned $137 million - up a whopping 46% compared to last year (which, if you remember, got off to a rather slow start). But while the overall picture looks good - there are some major bombs joining Blackhat as 2015 is shaping up to be a blistering year, no matter your star power.


Clint Eastwood has a new #1 film in his directorial database. American Sniper took in an impressive $64 million over its second weekend, giving the film a new total of $200.1 million. That easily eclipsed Eastwood's previous high, Gran Torino, which topped out at $148 million. Dropping just 28% from its opening weekend, it also had the 8th-best second weekend on record (and holds the record for a second weekend for a movie opening above $80 million). While The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1 currently has the 2014 record at $334.33 million, it is now looking like American Sniper will ultimately be able to top it (it opened in limited release just before Christmas) and should wind up with at least $350 million with an outside shot at $400 million. American Sniper also holds the distinction of having the widest release in theaters for any R-rated movie (likely helping it reach that total). It should have no trouble holding up in the coming weeks.


In a distant second place, the Jennifer Lopez steamy thriller The Boy Next Door opened to $15 million. While that number may seem a bit low, the film only cost about $4 million to produce, and it was also a higher opening than the last film Lopez's opened, The Back-Up Plan ($12.2 million). Unsurprisingly the audience was overwhelmingly female (71%) and older (60% over 25) and they gave it a mediocre "B-" Cinemascore. With critics also savaging the picture, one should expect this to fall short of $40 million, but given the low cost, it is already a hit for Universal Pictures.


The marmalade-loving Peruvian bear stuck to its third-place showing (down about 35% from last weekend) and added $12.4 million to its total, which now stands at just over $40 million. With Strange Magic tanking hard, expect this to keep hold of the family audience for at least another week, and the film should have not problem topping $50 million, ultimately it could near the $70 million mark.


Dipping two spots from its opening, the Kevin Hart comedy The Wedding Ringer landed in 4th place with $11.6 million. The 44% drop is actually a better hold than both Ride Along (49 percent) and Think Like a Man (48 percent). Still, this isn't likely to reach quite as high, the film currently is at $39.7 million and it will probably break $50 million, but isn't likely to rise much above that total.

5) TAKEN 3

The third time around for Liam Neeson in the action series has crossed the $75 million mark. Adding $7.6 million for the weekend (down over 48%) the film now has a total of $76 million. Given the competition, it's likely the film winds up below the $100 million mark, but at just a $48 million budget, Taken 3 has already proven itself a worthy win.

Outside the top five: Two high profile openings landed with a decided thud over the weekend. First up, George Lucas' passion project Strange Magic proved too strange for general audiences as it opened to just $5.53 million (7th place) - one of the lowest openings for a film on 3000 or more screens. It joined the likes of Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil, Happily N'Ever After and Valiant as forgettable animated fodder. The audience was 56% and 38% under 13 and given the lackluster numbers, it will likely fall short of $15 million.

Things looked even worse for Johnny Depp, as the offbeat comedy Mortdecai absolutely bombed, joining a string of disappointments (Lone Ranger, Transcendence and The Tourist among them) for the actor. Mortdecai opened to just $4.1 million (9th place). It opened lower than The Rum Diary ($5.1 million) and represents the worst opening for Lionsgate for a film bowing in 2500 or more theaters.

On a better note, The Imitation Game continued to flex its award-season muscles, adding another 414 theaters (and is now playing in over 2000 locations) and jumping 5% in the process. It remained in 6th place with $7.13 million and leaped The Grand Budapest Hotel with a new total of $60.6 million.

Another Oscar hopeful, Whiplash, expanded to its largest theater count yet (567) and jumped 114%, adding $747,000 for a new total of $7.6 million.

Next week, another three films open wide including the time-travel film Project Almanac, the thriller The Loft and the family drama Black or White. I have a feeling American Sniper will once again take the top spot, though Project Almanac has been getting a big advertising push - we'll see if it pays off.


Skip the Captcha: Sign Up or Log In
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?