American Sniper lead the box office for the second weekend in a row, this time bringing in $64.4 million over the past two days. Along with all the awards talk, the film has been in the news and causing a stir due to it reportedly being the catalyst for a “rise in anti-Muslim threats,” as the BBC elaborated on earlier today. It also made headlines when Seth Rogen compared it to the fake Nazi propaganda film Nation’s Pride that was part of 2009’s Inglourious Basterds.
Following that was the Jennifer Lopez-led The Boy Next Door, which has so far received abysmal reviews. Currently sitting at 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, critics seem to agree that most everything about the film – ranging from editing, to directing, to acting – is well below average. Despite the poor reviews, it still brought in $15 million over its opening weekend.
Paddington retained its third place spot with a $12.4 million weekend, while The Wedding Ringer and Taken 3 took small tumbles making $11.6 million and $7.6 million respectively – but still remained in the top five.
Outside of The Boy Next Door making some money based on star power alone, it was a rough week for debuts. Strange Magic, the newest brainchild of George Lucas, made only $5.3 million and sits at a meager 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. As well, the Johnny Depp comedy Mortdecai flopped tremendously, making only $4.1 million despite a $60 million budget. It also holds at a low Rotten Tomatoes score of 12%.
Things aren’t looking good for last weekend’s notable flop, Black Hat, either. Despite no change in theater locations, it made only $1.6 million, or a 58% drop from its disappointing debut last week. It’s looking extremely unlikely that the film will ever make back its $70 million budget.
Two Oscar hopefuls, Birdman and The Theory of Everything continued to chug along and be shown in more theaters, taking in $1.9 million and $1.3 million respectively while only being shown in under 1,000 theaters a piece. The Imitation Game saw a small bump as well, bringing in $7.1 million and now being shown in 2,025 theaters nationwide.
Whiplash is starting to make its way across the country, now being shown in 567 theaters, up 378 from last week. It brought in $787,000 for a relatively small $1,388 per-theater average.
Last year at this time was mostly void of good films at the top of the charts. Ride Along led the way with $21.3 million, followed by Lone Survivor and The Nut Job. Frozen of course kept on printing money, taking in $9 million as it finally started to leave theaters. American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years A Slave, and Gravity all saw big bumps in their theater presence thanks to serious award talks.
Source: Box Office Mojo
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