American Sniper Breaks Box Office Records

eastwoodThe Hollywood Reporter calls it a “shocker” that a patriotic movie by one of the best directors working today, about an American hero who kills jihadists, is really, really popular. To me, that sounds like a formula for success, but Hollywood still thinks tender stories about gay males coming of age are what the public demands, along with cartoonish special effects-laden, nine-figure-budget mind candy.

Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper is smashing records at the North American box office, where it topped Friday’s chart with $30.5 million from 3,555 theaters for a debut in the $75 million-$80 million range over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, well ahead of expectations.

That would mark the largest opening of all time for the month of January, as well as one of the top grosses ever for a non-tentpole, much less an R-rated, modern-day war film.

308555id1i_TheJudge_FinalRated_27x40_1Sheet.inddEarning a coveted A+ CinemaScore in every category, Eastwood’s movie is galvanizing moviegoers in both red states and blue states. It is expanding nationwide after nabbing six Oscar nominations on Thursday, including best picture and best actor (Bradley Cooper). Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow partnered on Sniper, based on the real-life story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and set over the course of the war in Iraq.

American Sniper first debuted Christmas Day in four theaters in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas (Kyle was from Texas). The $60 million movie, earning nearly $4 million in its limited run, continues to be unique in appealing to both art house audiences as well as more politically conservative moviegoers.

Eastwood has the clout to make movies like this, that appeal to an audience the liberal, gay-obsessed Hollywood establishment pretends doesn’t exist in significant numbers. And he is reaping the rewards.

Written by Thomas Lifson and published at American Thinker, January 18, 2015.

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