“American Sniper” rode Academy Awards nomination buzz and great reviews, and “absolutely obliterated all expectations” with an estimated $90.2 million in domestic sales on its first weekend of wide exhibition, an industry analyst said today.
Rentrak’s Paul Dergarabedian said the Clint Eastwood-directed movie is leading Hollywood to a record-crushing Martin Luther King Junior Day weekend, with an overall $240 million in domestic sales projected through Monday.
“The Wedding Ringer” was in second place, with $21 million in projected sales through Sunday. That was strong for an R-rated comedy.
“Paddington” was just behind, with the kid pic collaring that end of the market with $19.3 million in estimated three-day sales.
Last weekend’s number one, “Taken 3,” was on track for a $14.1 million weekend.
And “Selma” was in fifth place, with an estimated $4 million weekend.
Rounding out the top 10 movies in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, as projected by the studios and collated by Rentrak, were “The Imitation Game” ($7.1 million), “Into The Woods” ($6.6 million), “Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies” ($4.9 million), “Unbroken” ($4.3 million) and “Black Hat” ($4 million).