“American Sniper,” ’s war-drama that’s nominated for six Oscars, was the top-grossing movie in the U.S. and over the weekend, collecting $90.2 million in ticket sales to set a record for January.
“The Wedding Ringer” came in second with weekend sales of $21 million for ’ Screen Gems, industry researcher Rentrak Corp. said Sunday in a statement. Weinstein Co.’s “Paddington” collected $19.3 million.
Eastwood’s movie surprised the industry by reaping amounts usually not seen until summer weekends, helping kick off a year that’s expected to haul in at least $11 billion for the first time on the back of new entries from past successful franchises including “,” “Terminator” and “Jurassic Park,” said , a senior media analyst with Rentrak. The three-day take for “American Sniper” was a record for a January weekend, surpassing the $68.5 million brought in by “Avatar” over the first weekend of 2010.
“No one saw this coming. This really obliterated expectations,” Dergarabedian said of Eastwood’s movie. “He’s an octogenarian and he’s still rocking it.”
In a crowded box office over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, “American Sniper” benefited from Oscar nomination buzz. The Warner Bros. film entered the weekend after picking up Academy Award nominations on Thursday, including best picture and best actor for .