American Sniper earns $90.2 m in US, smashes records
The film, which broke the record for a January weekend as well as for any drama opening ever, was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper.hollywood Updated: Jan 19, 2015 19:32 IST
Oscar-nominated war film American Sniper led US and Canadian box office charts over the weekend with a record-smashing $90.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates.
The film, which broke the record for a January weekend as well as for any drama opening ever, was directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper.
American Sniper virtually doubled industry expectations after widely expanding to some 3,500 screens from just a handful of theatres the day after scoring six Oscar nominations, including best picture and best actor for Cooper, who plays a Navy Seal sharpshooter.
Another new release, family film "Paddington" based on the series of classic children's books about a loveable bear earned $19.3 million.
Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution at the Time Warner Inc. unit Warner Bros., which distributed American Sniper, said it had become "an instant cultural phenomenon."
"People in small towns, big and small cities, in the heartland, in both red and blue states, people who go to the movies once every year or two, they all came out," Fellman said.
The film, expected to add another $15 million on Monday, set records in IMAX theaters, unusual for a drama, and far surpassed Eastwood's Gran Torino which opened at $29.5 million in 2008.