Even as the masses prepared for Super Bowl XLIX--the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic "American Sniper" broke another record--poking the eyes of the film's detractors--while retaining the top spot for the 3rd frame in a row.
Director Dean Israelite's found footage time travel film Project Almanac and the thriller "The Loft" (both films opened after long delays) as well as the drama "Black or White" will likely fall to holdover live-action meets CG animated feature "Paddington" for 2nd place.
And surprise--The thriller The Boy Next Door with Jennifer Lopez and Step Up Revolution star and model Ryan Guzman stays in the top five--despite really bad reviews.
Pamela McClintock and Rebecca Ford of THR:
Clint Eastwood's American Sniper has scored another record: the biggest Super Bowl weekend gross of all time. Its estimated weekend total of $31.85 million narrowly beats out the previous record of $31.1 million held by 2008's Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.
Last weekend, the Oscar-nominated Sniper became the biggest war-themed film of all time, eclipsing the $216.5 million earned by Saving Private Ryan, not accounting for inflation. Now in its third weekend in nationwide release, the film's new domestic tally is a stunning $248.9 million.
The Bradley Cooper-starring war drama, easily beat out three new films braving a launch despite the NFL championship game: Project Almanac, Black or White and The Loft.
Theater attendance takes a big hit on Super Bowl Sunday, so it's no surprise that no high-profile titles opened this weekend. Indeed, both Project Almanac and The Loft open after long delays.
It looks like all three newcomers will fall below holdover Paddington. The family film, now in its third week, earned an estimated $8.5 million, and while Project Almanac, a found-footage thriller produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes, is also estimated to have earned $8.5 million, it's likely that Paddington will come out on top for the No. 2 spot when the dust settles and the final numbers come in Monday.
Project Almanac, earning a B CinemaScore, follows a brilliant high school student and his friends as they uncover blueprints for a mysterious device that allows them to time travel. Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista and Virginia Gardner star. It was originally set to open a year ago, but Bay wanted to tinker with the movie.
Black or White, filmmaker Mike Binder's racially charged drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, took the no. 4 spot with a tally of $6.5 million for its domestic debut. The film, which received an A- CinemaScore, hoped to serve as counterprogramming for adults, opening in 1,823 locations this weekend. An estimated 78 percent of its opening weekend audience was over 25 years old.
Relativity acquired U.S. rights to Black or White after its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and is releasing the film — which received a promising A- CinemaScore — in association with IM Global and Sunlight Productions.
When no studio would make the $9 million film, Costner invested some of his own money in Black or White, which chronicles a bitter custody fight that ensues when a child's African-American grandmother (Spencer) insists that the child be raised by her son, the girl's father, and not by Costner's character, her maternal grandfather.
Universal holdover The Boy Next Door took No. 5 in its second outing with an estimated $6.1 million or more from 2,615 locations.
The Loft, director Erik Van Looy's English-language remake of his 2008 Dutch film, quickly fell flat this weekend, coming in at No. 10 with a soft $2.9 million. From Dark Castle Entertainment, the thriller was originally supposed to be distributed by Warner Bros. per its deal with Joel Silver's Dark Castle, but it moved to Universal when Silver pacted with that studio.
However, Open Road films subsequently announced it would release The Loft after Universal pulled the movie from its August 2014 release. The $14 million title, about a group of men who share a loft used for illicit affairs, stars James Marsden and Karl Urban, while Matthias Schoenaerts reprises his role from the original film
Next Up: It's release delayed we will finally get a chance to see Lana and Andy Wachowski's sci-fi thriller Jupiter Ascending. The plot is said to involve higher forms of life on other planets watching us. These beings have some human and animal DNA in them.
Mila Kunis plays a Russian immigrant and toilet cleaner who unknowingly carries "the same perfect genetic makeup as the Queen of the Universe and is therefore a threat to her otherwise immortal rule." A bounty hunter (Channing Tatum) is dispatched to kill her, but they fall in love.
In a time of enchantments when legends and magic collide, the sole remaining warrior of a mystical order (Oscar winner (Jeff Bridges) travels to find the prophet/hero born with incredible powers, the last Seventh Son (Ben Barnes). Torn from his quiet life as a farmhand, the unlikely young hero embarks on a daring adventure with his battle-hardened mentor to vanquish a dark queen (Julianne Moore) and the army of supernatural assassins she has dispatched against their kingdom.
Sergei Bodrov (Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan, Nomad: The Warrior) directs here from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt (In the Heart of the Sea,Warcraft) and Steven Knight (Closed Circuit) based on a story by Matt Greenberg (Reign of Fire).
Cartoon superstar SpongeBob SquarePants and the entire gang from bikini bottom get "reel" on the big screen in a Sponge Out of Water.