In today’s box office climate, we tend to take monumental business for granted due to the massive performance of blockbusters. $100 million on an opening weekend here for The Avengers here, or a final tally of $670 million for Man of Steel there. For movies that are smaller in focus and in budget, big business can be hard to come by. So, that’s what makes these projections for a film like American Sniper — an adaptation of an autobiography with serious Oscar consideration — pretty surprising.
According to analysts (via Variety), the film is projected to take in $60 million or more this weekend. Adding to the surprise factor for this is the time in which its supposed to make that money, since the month of January doesn’t exactly account for big business at the box office. Eastwood’s previous box office record opening came in 2008 for Gran Torino, which opened at $29.5 million. If American Sniper holds these early projections through the weekend, then it will double the opening business of the 2008 film.
The studio in charge of the film’s distribution, Warner Bros., warned the trade that their own internal estimates are closer to $55 million, which is still reasonably higher than the originally projected $44-48 million. Early Thursday night screenings managed to take in $5.3 million, which followed right behind the announced Oscar nominations. American Sniper received six nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
We’ll check in with this on the other side of the weekend to see how the film ended up shaking out, but until then, keep your eyes on GeekNation for more on this and other developing stories.
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