UPDATE: Final figures show that American Sniper came up just short of the Super Bowl weekend record with $30.8 million. The $31.1 million record of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert from 2008 stands. The original story follows:
It was another weekend at the box office where Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, dominated over the competition, and though the Super Bowl on Sunday did cause a bigger drop for the military drama, it still set a new Super Bowl weekend record with $31.9 million, surpassing the $31.1 million opening of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert in 2008. It was down roughly 51% from last weekend, mainly due to the expected drop-off of business on Sunday, but it has grossed $249 million so far, which puts it on track to become the third highest-grossing movie of 2014 domestically by sometime next week.
There was a tight race for second place, but the family film Paddington (The Weinstein Company), which has continued to do well since opening two weekends ago, seemed to be slightly ahead with $8.5 million (down 31%), having grossed $50.5 million domestically.
After a year-long delay, the found footage teen time-travel film Project Almanac (Paramount), produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes for a reported $12 million, opened nationwide in 2,893 theaters where it’s estimated to have made a mere $5,000 less than Paddington. If those numbers remain, then it will have to settle for third place also with $8.5 million or $2,938 per venue.
Also, Oscar-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer starred in Mike Binder’s drama Black or White (Relativity), which was picked up after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It opened in just 1,823 theaters on Friday where it brought in an estimated $6.5 million or $3,544 per location, the best per-theater average of the three new wide releases.
Jennifer Lopez’s thriller The Boy Next Door (Universal), co-starring Ryan Guzman, dropped from second place to fifth with $6.1 million, down 59% from its opening weekend, with a ten-day gross of $24.7 million.
Kevin Hart and Josh Gad’s comedy The Wedding Ringer (Sony/Screen Gems) dropped to sixth place with $5.7 million (down 50%) to bring its domestic total to $48.1 million, which should allow it to pull ahead of Hart’s 2014 remake of About Last Night next week.
The Weinstein Company’s Oscar contender The Imitation Game added 377 more theaters on Friday, allowing it another strong hold in sixth place with $5.2 million (down 26% from last weekend) with a domestic gross of $68 million since opening last Thanksgiving.
Liam Neeson’s Taken 3 is still the highest grossing movie of the year with $81.4 million–American Sniper platformed in December so it’s still considered 2014–and it added another $3.6 million this weekend for eighth place.
Lucasfilm’s animated musical film Strange Magic dropped to ninth place with $3.4 million in its second weekend, down a respectable 37%, but still having grossed less than $10 million since opening.
An English remake of a Belgian thriller by its original director Erik Van Looy, The Loft (Open Road Films), starring Karl Urban, James Marsden, Rachel Taylor, Matthias Schoenaerts (who also appeared in the original), Wentworth Miller and more, opened in 1,841 theaters with a disappointing $2.9 million (or $1,564 per location) to take tenth place.
The Top 10 grossed approximately $82.3 million which was up $20 million from last Super Bowl weekend when Ice Cube and Kevin Hart’s Ride Along remained in first place and Disney’s Frozen moved back into second place. The top new movie, That Awkward Moment, opened in third place with $8.7 million while Jason Reitman’s Labor Day opened in seventh place with $5.2 million in 2,584 theaters.
The IMAX Corporation tried something a little different by running the final two episodes of the fourth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” as Game of Thrones: The IMAX Experience for a limited run in 205 IMAX theaters where it took in $1.5 million over the weekend. It averaged $7,300 per IMAX screen on top of the $8,805 per IMAX screen that American Sniper grossed in its 165 IMAX locations.