American Sniper makes its way to the St. Louis market this week while Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer and Paddington all premiere in wide release.
Recapping Last Weekend
Taken 3 scored a massive win at the box office last weekend. It debuted with $39.2 million. The film likely will not have much staying power at theaters, so a great opening for the movie made for $48 million was important. Selma, made for $20 million, opened in wide release with $11.3 million. Into The Woods saw its receipts drop 49 percent in the third weekend of release to $9.5 million. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies came in just behind Woods with 9.4 million. Unbroken rounded out the top five with $8.1 million in its third weekend.
Battle of the Five Armies has now earned more than $238 million overseas and $783 million worldwide. American Sniper has made $3.3 million since Christmas despite only being in four theaters around the country up until this weekend. It has also made an impressive $14.6 million overseas.
Predicting This Weekend
Screen Rant is predicting a weekend box office win for American Sniper with The Wedding Ringer ($28 million) and Paddington ($27 million) following close behind. Rope of Silicon is predicting $48 million for American Sniper followed by Paddington at $18 million and Wedding Ringer at $16.8. BoxOffice.com predicts $57 million for Bradley Cooper, $29 million for Kevin Hart and $25 million for the bear. In a surprise to me, they also predict Taken 3 will come in fourth with $19.5 million.
I like where Screen Rant is going with Sniper winning by a large margin and Ringer/Paddington being neck and neck behind. Personally, I think Paddington comes in second with just under $30 million. That’s probably mostly because I think the movie looks really enjoyable and want people to go see it.
Opening This Weekend
American Sniper actually opened on Christmas Day but is just now starting to push into wide release and come to the St. Louis Market. Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Chris Kyle has garnered great reviews. He put on almost 40 pounds of muscle to play Kyle in the movie. The Clint Eastwood-directed film is based on the autobiography of Chis Kyle of the same name. Kyle was a United States Navy Seal and has been hailed as the most efficient sniper in the history of the U.S. military. He went on four tour of Iraq and was given many commendations. He set up a foundation called Fitco Cares to help those returning from war deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Kyle was tragically murdered in February of 2013. The man who killed Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield was likely suffering from PTSD at the time of the murder. The film has drawn criticism from the anti-war crowd. It received an Oscar nomination today in the Best Picture category and is being considered one of director Clint Eastwood’s best films of late.
American Sniper premieres at MX Movies in downtown St. Louis tonight.
Blackhat, starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Michael Mann, is an action-adventure film focused on the world of elite-level computer hacking. While most on Rotten Tomatoes want to see the film, it has not garnered rave reviews from critics. Forbes did call it “timely fun”. Mann hired two former hackers to consult on the film, including one who reverse-engineered OKCupid while a grad student at UCLA.
The Wedding Ringer
The Wedding Ringer is the latest comedy starring Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart runs a company that will set socially awkward guys up with a Best Man for their weddings. Josh Gad plays Doug, who needs not only a Best Man, but also groomsmen as well. Gad voiced the character Olaf in Frozen and played Andrew (the dude with the headphones) in The Interview. The Seattle Times said The Wedding Ringer “will touch you as often as it tickles you” in giving the film a good review. Kaley Cuoco, who recently overcame an addiction to nose spray, screened the film for troops in California last weekend along with Hart and Gad.
Paddington is the “kids” offering this weekend, but looks like a ton of fun for everyone. The Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes is at 97% with the audience score at 92%. Consider that the Tomatoemeter is at 27% for Annie and 49% for the newest Night at the Museum, two other offerings for the younger set. The film is the first time the Paddington character has appeared in a major motion picture. The character was in a long-running BBC cartoon series that began in 1975 and was the subject of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that premiered in the U.S. in 1989. This live-action Paddington was first announced back in 2007. London commemorated the release of the film with the awesome Paddington Trail art installation. The Paddington character was created by Michael Bond, a BBC cameraman in 1956 after he bought a small toy bear sitting alone on a London toy store shelf for his wife.
Catch It Before It’s Gone
Keller 8 gets some big movies this weekend. Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Pyramid, Foxcatcher and The Gambler all make their way to the second-run theater this weekend. Foxcatcher didn’t receive an Oscar nomination today for Best Picture, but it did get five others including Steve Carell for Actor in a Leading Role and Mark Ruffalo for Actor in a Supporting Role.
Make It A Redbox Night
Redbox welcomes A Walk Among The Tombstones, The Maze Runner and This Is Where I Leave You this weekend. Tombstones stars Liam Neeson, but it is definitely not a Taken by any means. It’s fairly slow and a little dark. We suggest picking up The Maze Runner, which made just over $102 million in theaters last year.
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