HOLLYWOOD—I’ve never seen the box-office explode with Oscar-bait, as much as I have seen this past weekend. Clint Eastwood’s war picture “American Sniper” shocked the box-office with a stunning $90.2 million debut. That’s the highest debut for the month of January, and a huge debut for an R-rated picture.
I’m saying this now “American Sniper” is poised to capture the gold come Oscar night. “Boyhood” and “Birdman” might be critical darlings, but “Sniper” is about to get massive buzz that will be impossible for Academy members to ignore.
Eastwood might be missing from the Best Director race, but I have a strong feeling a Best Picture win for him and even Bradley Cooper could be in the near future. Grabbing the #2 spot was the Kevin Hart comedy “The Wedding Ringer” with a dismal $21 million compared to his latest foray. The R-rated comedy didn’t compare to Hart impressive box-office numbers last year where “Ride Along” broke box-office records.
Grabbing the #3 spot was the family flick “Paddington,” starring Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman with around $19.3 million. Last week’s box-office champ, “Taken 3” took a massive fall earning around $14 million. It’s still an impressive take for the flick which has already earned over $60 million in just two weeks. Looks like a “Taken 4” could be in the audience’s future.
Rounding out the top five was the biopic “Selma” with around $8.3 million. Many expected “Selma” to have a more impressive debut when it hit theaters nationwide last week. With only two weeks under its belt, the flick has already amounted over $25 million. It’s likely to continue its momentum for moviegoers as awards season ramps up.