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Box office report: 'American Sniper' wins again

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American Sniper
Keith Bernstein

Last weekend, American Sniper stunned—and broke all kinds of January records—by bringing in $107.2 million. And its successful run continued this weekend: The Clint Eastwood-directed war movie earned $64.4 million (a mere 28 percent drop) and beat out the weekend’s three wide releases to stay at the top of the box office.

Sniper got tons of coverage in the press this past week thanks to its astounding opening weekend, something that surely drove viewers to theaters to see what the fuss is all about. That buzz combined with the film’s six Oscar nominations—announced the day before its Jan. 16 wide release—ensured a strong second weekend.

American Sniper‘s box office success is a telling example of how any press is good press: The film has been surrounded by a fair amount of controversy related to its political stance, and on a less serious note, was the subject of quite a bit of mockery after viewers pointed out a scene involving a fake baby that soon went viral. These factors didn’t seem to affect much in terms of ticket sales though, and if anything, they helped out the movie by increasing awareness of it.

Not everyone went to see American Sniper though. Newcomer The Boy Next Door, a thriller starring Jennifer Lopez, took the number two spot with $15 million, nearly quadrupling its reported $4 million production budget. That’s a big upgrade from Lopez’s most recent film before this, Parker. The $35 million thriller opened this same weekend two years ago with a weak $7 million.

Paddington once again proved to be a solid family-friendly choice for those who couldn’t—or didn’t want to—watch a thriller. The critically liked film (it currently has a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) ended up in the number three spot with $12.4 million, beating out fellow family-friendly film Strange Magic, which opened wide this weekend with a comparatively weak $5.5 million. Paddington will likely continue to be the more successful PG-rated option thanks to positive word-of-mouth and the not-so-positive word-of-mouth surrounding Strange Magic, an animated film that currently has an 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Wedding Ringer and Taken 3—films in their second and third weeks, respectively–rounded out the top five, showing that just because a movie’s new doesn’t mean it’s going to make bank. Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp, opened this weekend and just made it into the top 10 with $4.1 million, enough to put it in the number nine spot ahead of Into the Woods.

1. American Sniper — $64.4 million

2. The Boy Next Door — $15 million

3. Paddington — $12.4 million

4. The Wedding Ringer — $11.6 million

5. Taken 3 — $7.6 million

Outside the top five, Cake—the film that got Jennifer Aniston a recent Golden Globe nod—opened in 482 locations with $1 million. The new thriller Black Sea, starring Jude Law made $35,000 in five theaters while Song Onea drama starring Anne Hathaway, opened in 27 locations with $23,800.