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Box Office for American Sniper, The Boy Next Door, Mortdecai and Strange Magic!


Welcome to this week’s Movie Math, where
American Sniper continues to find itself in the eye of the storm – cleaning up at the
box office while not just the United States but the world clashes over what the film stands
for. For Warner Bros the answer is easy – it stands for one of the studio’s biggest hits
of all time and evidence of a brilliant marketing campaign that targeted the military including
veterans, their families, and people who are hungry for an opportunity to embrace a positive
message about their country and those who put their lives on the line to serve it. Others
though feel that it’s irresponsible for American Sniper not to present a full and
accurate picture of Chris Kyle, a far more human and complicated man than the modern
day almost mythological soldier Bradley Cooper portrays. It’s a conversation even being
echoed in Iraq, where the film is not playing Baghdad but is doing quite well in the northern
region that was liberated by American forces – and in a true sign of capitalism, the theater
chain that decided not to play it in Baghdad is the one delivering American Sniper to audiences
in the north. As detractors try to dig up concrete evidence that Kyle isn’t worthy
of the title hero, right now his supporters are clearly winning as American Sniper is
on the fast track to become the most successful war film of all time. In just two weeks of
wide release, it’s sailed past the two hundred million mark domestically – ironically, the
controversy over the film is clearly piquing additional audience interest. I saw at least
one of you tweet me directly that maybe, with all this talk and box office, this was a movie
you needed to see for yourself. It’s already passed Pearl Harbor and is closing in on Saving
Private Ryan. And even accounting for inflation, at this pace – the Clint Eastwood/Bradley
Cooper pic dropped just twenty-eight percent in its second weekend – the industry expects
American Sniper to surpass what Saving Private Ryan would’ve made in today’s dollars,
three hundred million. That would make it the seventh Warner Bros film to pass the three
hundred million mark, an honor so far only achieved by Batman, Harry Potter and the first
Hobbit flick. What factor these box office numbers will have on the Oscars remains to
be seen. The Academy clearly liked it enough to give American Sniper six Oscar nominations
including Best Picture, and with this kind of audience turn out a number of people tuning
in on Oscar night will obviously be rooting for American Sniper as well. Yet the negative
backlash to the film’s success, particularly in Hollywood, could create enough peer pressure
to keep members from voting for any wins for American Sniper. That though could create
a huge Hollywood backlash in Middle America, right before the big spring and summer movie
season where those ticket sales are needed. Tough choices indeed… In contrast, a movie about a High School teacher
sleeping with one of her students seemed like light, uncontroversial fare! And hey, he was
twenty and just held back, okay? Jennifer Lopez is surely thankful she didn’t hold
back for her steamy sex scene, as she and Ryan Guzman generated enough heat for a second
place debut – not to mention the duo dominated social media all weekend long. This is Lopez’s
best box office open since Monster in Law back in 2005, and another hit for horror producer
Jason Blum. Even as he expands beyond the horror genre, Blum is still cleverly producing
guilty pleasures on the cheap – The Boy Next Door was made for just four million dollars
– that are easily profitable. Blum also has a good eye for talent, as Guzman will play
the love interest in Blum’s upcoming Jem and the Holograms later this year. Yes, that
film suddenly just got another strong selling point. As for the weekend’s other new releases,
it appears both George Lucas and Johnny Depp’s reputations have finally overtaken them professionally.
Lucas’s name clearly can’t sell anything anymore – and it didn’t help he spent all
his time promoting Strange Magic by talking about Star Wars as if it was an ex-girlfriend.
With Depp, Mortdecai is his fourth box office flop in a row – fifth flop if you’re talking
creatively. And while foreign box office has saved him the past, even the international
market seems to have grown weary of Depp’s moustachioed hijinks. It will be interesting
to see if the upcoming Pirates and Alice sequels will be immune, or if he’ll drag those tentpoles
down with him. He might be able to repair his reputation somewhat with his Whitey Bulger
pic later this year, but once again he’s buried under a ton of make-up. Perhaps co-star
Benedict Cumberbatch will help convince audiences to give Depp a second – or third chance anyway?
As for the holdovers, two British flicks kept a stiff upper lip in the face of the American
Sniper juggernaut, with both Paddington and The Imitation Game demonstrating excellent
holds. Taken 3 and The Wedding Ringer were not so lucky, with the latter now looking
for a bit of a backtrack for Kevin Hart. Hopefully his efforts to expand his appeal will fare
better with Will Ferrell in Get Hard this March. In the specialty market, Cake – minus
any Oscar noms – did little business in just under five hundred theaters, while Jude Law’s
Black Sea had an equally unimpressive debut. But even more embarrassing was the debut for
Anne Hathaway’s new pic Song One. She might have won the Oscar, but the hit her likeability
factor took to do so might be tough – if not impossible – to recover from. She might have
to do – GASP – another romantic comedy, or go crawling back on her knees to Gary Marshall
for a third Princess Diaries movie. Maybe she and Hilary Swank can start some kind of
support group for actresses who shouldn’t have trash-talked the work that made them
beloved by audiences. Finally, forget President Snow as Katniss once again managed to top
Kevin Feige! Yes Mockingjay Part 1 has JUST edged past Guardians of the Galaxy to be the
top domestic box office performers for the year, just as Catching Fire edged out Iron
Man 3 in 2013. Should Avengers 2 fear Mockingjay Part 2…? As for this coming weekend, Project
Almanac should easily best fellow new releases Black or White and The Loft, yet American
Sniper will likely hold onto the top spot for a third week in a row. And that’s the
weekend box office! I’m Grace Randolph and we just did some Movie Math – as always, thanks
for watching, and I hope you’ll go Beyond The Trailer for these other top movies…

38 thoughts on “Box Office for American Sniper, The Boy Next Door, Mortdecai and Strange Magic!

  1. Hey everyone, side note not regarding this video, but regarding Grace. Her other channel ThinkAboutTheInk is up for a vote for Watchmojo's Top 10 Comic Book YouTube Channels. Go vote for it and support Grace and the other hosts! 😀
    http://watchmojo.com/suggest/Top+10+Comic+Book+Youtube+Channels

  2. Thanks for this weeks movie math. Since you and I live on the east coast with a pending snow storm on the rise.  I say stay warm and stay safe Grace. I'll see you bright and early tomorrow for another episode of B.T.T.

  3. I'm completely shocked! When I went to see the box office numbers for American Sniper's first weekend, I was shocked! I didn't even know the movie EXISTED! And then I saw this movie I didn't know exist gross more than 100 million in its FIRST WEEKEND! I am a person that follows movies, and knows basically every single hit to release a year before, but no, I didn't know about this. Maybe I glanced at it and saw that it was coming out a few months ago, but I probably passed it up expecting it to be another movie that does decent. I was wrong. Congratulations American Sniper I guess…

  4. If American Sniper continues at this pace, its going to take the 2014 release crown from Mockingjay. Something which industry analysts will have a hard time explaining

  5. You have to love an America that isn't above a little character assassination for murdered teenagers but downplaying Kyle's self documented bigotry to make him out to be a hero or sadly those that laud him for that bigotry.

  6. What I find interesting about the box office is what it reveals about the American audience – specifically the contradiction between what many profess to believe, and how their spending habits truly reveals what they really believe in. Both American Sniper and Selma opened at the same time. Yet, as of me writing this, American Sniper has made 5 times more money at the box office than Selma. Yet, this country is described as overwhelmingly Christian and Christian conservatives, in particular, say this is a "Christian Nation" and that we must return to "Christian values". Yet, these same people, at five times the rate, would rather spend their money on a movie that glorifies a soldier who participated in an unjust war, using violent means, over a film like Selma, which showed a civil rights leader fight for equality using the same nonviolent behavior that Jesus required of his followers. I am not a Christian, but judging by the box office so aren't many self-professed Christians. 

  7. Fox is using this movie as propaganda grace I understand you don't want to speak on this to alienate fans. Be safe in the blizzard

  8. no, american sniper will be the top 2014 pic if you consider it a 2014 pic. it did get a very limited 2014 release. I think it should be able to reach 350-400 easily esp if it keeps holding on to its audience.

  9. grace, do you think ticket sales numbers would be more useful for gauging a movie's success? i think it's a number that studios dont give out because they want to hide them. Ticket sales would give a more nuance look than just pure dollars every weekend, it would show people more meaning behind the numbers.

  10. i think i missed something. why is anne hathaway so disliked? i didn't like her hammy performance in Interstellar but i blame the script for that. what did i miss?

  11. This is what Ken O'Keefe (an ex United States Marine Corps) said in a interview while speaking on the topic of "America: Is it a Civilized Nation?" 

    He said:
    ."If we wanna take a look at Iraq there is at least 2 million deaths, we invaded that country destroyed it creating millions of orphans, millions of refugees and never even so much so apologized for that. Lest go back to vietnam where we dropped 20 million bombs more than all of world war 2 combined. We have destroyed in so many countries, we have tortured and killed and raped around this planet, who in the hell in their right mind would consider the United States or the West in general to be in any position to punish anybody.

    O'Keefe denied the plausibility that the September 11 attacks were committed by Osama bin Laden and the 19 hijackers. He claimed it was an inside job and that the US government and intelligence agencies, including Mossad were responsible. He also alleged that the United States government, including the President, had prior knowledge of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor during World War II, but allowed the attacks to go ahead in order to have an excuse to enter the war..

  12. QUESTION : HI Grace good morning!! hey i just have a question do you have any bloopers reels? it would be great if you could share them 😀 Gracias un abrazo !

  13. While I liked American Sniper, Saving Private Ryan is far superior. That's the film I would show to my social studies students when I become a social studies teacher. 

  14. I don´t understand the American Sniper thing seriously. So many better films from Clint Eastwood in the last 10 years, and especially, any other oscar nominated film this year is also clearly superior. What´s worse, several films which have not been nominated are clearly better too. Plus the film is almost offensive to people with common sense. 

  15. Why does Grace hate Anne Hathaway so much? She´s a fantastic actress. Her performance in les Miserables was hair raising and is one of the most deserved oscars recently, along with Natalie Portman´s and Cate Blanchet´s.

  16. Whiplash (what a film!)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>American Sniper
    The Imitation Game>>>>>>>American S.
    Selma>>>>>>>>American S.
    Grand Budapest Hotel>>>>>American S.
    Birdman>>>>American S.
    Boyhood>>>>American S.
    And what´s worse: Gone Girl>>>A.S.; Interstellar>>>A. S.; Babadook>>>A.S.; Dawn of the Planet (yeah blockbuster and all)>>>A.S.; Belle>>>A.S.

  17. Given the results the past few weeks with American Sniper hogging top spot since opening, how do other studios view their films as a result of this? And what constitutes "limited release", and "wide release"?

  18. Mockingjay part 1 did not surpass Guardians of the Galaxy the year is over and when people look back its not Mockingjay that they will remember as the highest grossing movie of the year it will be Guardians! Grace just hates that guardians made tones of money!

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