UPDATE, MONDAY ACTUALS, 4 PM: All of the top 10 films, except for Fox’s Taken 3, came in lower than their weekend projections yesterday morning due to the Super Bowl, with Warner Bros./Village Roadshow missing its target record as the largest grossing title over Super Bowl weekend. Disney’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert holds onto to that title ($31.117M) with American Sniper ranking second with a $30.66M FSS. Said one rival distribution chief, “It’s hard to nail down these predictions down to the penny when there is something so extraordinary like the Super Bowl in the market. No one saw this as being the highest-rated Super Bowl ever. Next weekend will be easier to project.” Warner Bros. was initially anticipating a 70% drop on Super Bowl Sunday for American Sniper from its Saturday B.O. of $16.5M but yesterday charted lower with a 74% decline for $4.4M.  The average drop for the top 10 films between Saturday and Sunday was 65%.

Total weekend ticket sales per Rentrak theatrical also charted a couple million lower with $101.4M (vs. $103M).  Nonetheless, this year’s Super Bowl frame was up 18% over the same weekend a year ago.  Even though American Sniper propelled the domestic B.O. past the $1B mark this weekend (2015 is now 9% ahead of 2014 year to date), there have been better Super Bowl weekends in terms of total tickets.  This weekend ranks seventh among the top Super Bowl frames at the B.O. with 2008 still boasting the best weekend with $128M, led by Hannah Montana.

Upcoming wide releases for next weekend include Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie:Sponge Out Of Water in 3,500 locations, which insiders are expecting to unseat American Sniper for the No. 1  spot. Warner Bros. is launching another Village Roadshow co-production, the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending in 3,150 venues. Universal/Legendary’s fantasy film Seventh Son will unspool at an estimated 2,800. Below are the top 20 studio estimates from Rentrak Theatrical for the weekend of Jan. 30-Feb. 1 ,2015.

  1. American Sniper (WB), $30.66M (-53%), 3,885 locations, $7,892 average, $247.75M, Wk 6
  2. Project Almanac (Par), $8.3M, 2,893 locations, $2,873 average, $8.3M, Wk 1
  3. Paddington, (TWC), $8.268M (-33%), 3,303 locations, $2,503 average, $50.3M, Wk 3
  4. Black Or White (Rel), $6.2M, 1,823 locations, $3,408 average, $6.2M, Wk 1
  5. The Boy Next Door (Uni), $6.081M (-59%), 2,615 locations, $2,325 average, $24.67M, Wk 2
  6. The Wedding Ringer (Sony), $5.69M (-50%), 2,820 locations, $2,018 average, $48.1M, Wk 3
  7. The Imitation Game (TWC), $5.01M (-28%), 2,402 locations, $2,086 average, $67.8M, Wk 10
  8. Taken 3 (20th Century Fox), $3.7M (-49%), 2,533 locations, $1,479 average, $81.4M, Wk 4
  9. Strange Magic (Disney) $3.36M (-39%), 3,020 locations, $1,113 average, $9.8M, Wk 2
  10. The Loft (OPR), $2.74M, 1,841 locations, $1,492 average, $2.74M, Wk 1
  11. Selma (Par), $2.57M (-53%), 1,714 locations, $1,498 average, $43.5M, Wk 6 .
  12. Into The Woods, (Dis), $1.9M (-51%), 1,725 locations, $1,103 average, $124.3M, Wk 6
  13. A Most Violent Year, (A24), $1.5M (+259%), 818 locations, $1,849 average, $2.98M, Wk 5
  14. Birdman (SEA), $1.48M (-24%), 976 locations, $1,516 average, $33.2M, Wk 16
  15. Game of Thrones (WB), $1.46M, 205 locations, $7,142 average, $1.46M, Wk 1
  16. Mortdecai (LG), $1.4M (-66%), 2,648 locations, $544 average, $6.9M, Wk 2
  17. Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Warner Bros., $1.29M (-53%), 910 locations, $1,419 average, $251.7M, Wk 7
  18. The Theory Of Everything, Focus Features, $983K (-22%), 805 locations, $1,221 average, $30.6M, Wk 13
  19. Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (Fox), $823K (-54%), 763 locations, $1,079 average, $109.8M, Wk 7
  20. Unbroken, Universal, $752K (-64%), 800 locations, $940 average, $113.8M, Wk 6


21. Whiplash (SPC), $600K (-23%),  525 theaters, $1,143 average, $8.5M, Wk 17

25. Black Sea (FOC) $457K (+1,113%), 313 theaters, $1,460 average, $509K, Wk 2

30. Cake (FREE) $301K (-67%), 373 theaters, $807 average, $1.62M, Wk 2

43. Boyhood (IFC) $73K (-61%), 131 theaters, $557 average, $25.04M, Wk 30

60. The Grand Budapest Hotel (SEA) $18K (-55%), 34 theaters, $519 average, $59.2M, Wk 48

PREVIOUS UPDATE, SUNDAY 9:45 AM (after 8 AM update): “I wish there was a universe where American Sniper wasn’t in it!” one distribution exec cried this morning after their movie came up short this weekend. “I actually like this universe we’re living in!” beamed Warner Bros’ distribution EVP Jeff Goldstein over the third wide weekend of impressive results for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.

The Village Roadshow co-production made a box office touchdown as the highest-grossing film ever over Super Bowl weekend with $31.85M. Traditionally, the Big Game frame is a challenging one for movies, and most titles make most of their dough during Friday and Saturday; on average, the top 10 movies saw a 62% hike on Saturday from their Friday ticket sales. American Sniper is expected to eclipse Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert‘s first weekend of $31.12M, the previous title to mint the most over Super Bowl FSS. The cume for American Sniper will be just under $250M by EOD with $248.9M through six weekends.

American Sniper 
saw an amazing 67% hike over its $10M Friday on Saturday with $16.8M. Because of Super Bowl, the film’s Sunday is expected to drop 70%.

With the frame’s new titles posting way below their initial estimates, the consensus is that American Sniper is only taking business away from those films that are skewing older — over 25.  Sniper’s haul is further bolstered by audiences who rarely go to the movies. Warner Bros. continues to hear from exhibs that this demo continues to flock to see the film. Three weeks after American Sniper went wide, competitive distributors continue to be dumbfounded by its success, never expecting that the Bradley Cooper film would leg out to the degree it is posting.

Insiders predict that American Sniper will final its run between $325M-$340M. It is providing 2015 with a lot of juice as the year has already flew past the $1B mark — 8.7% ahead of 2014, which had $940.5M at this point in time. Total weekend ticket sales are estimated at $103M per Rentrak Theatrical, up 20% over the same frame a year ago.

Paddington Ben WhishawCurrently, TWC/Dimension’s Paddington and Paramount’s Project Almanac are neck-in-neck for second at $8.5M a piece with the Bear showing a bit of an edge. Paddington is projected to have the best Saturday-to-Sunday hold against the Super Bowl today with an estimated 30% slide thanks to those mom and kids skipping the 3:30 PM PT kickoff. Paddington will face competition next weekend from Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. If Paddington can hold up against the Nickelodeon feature toon, it could rally past $70M at the domestic B.O.

When Paramount put Project Almanac on the calendar, the hope was to emulate the success that Fox had with teens during 2012’s Super Bowl weekend when Chronicle, another found-footage teen superpower film, opened to $22M.  Similar to Chronicle, Project Almanac headlined a fresh-face cast, specifically to create the conceit that the audience would feel like they’re on a real journey with real kids, versus putting a star in the project. The upside for Paramount is that the film has a production cost of $12M.

Project AlmanacThe film drew 55% male vs. 45% female. Despite its B CinemaScore, it earned an A- with the under 18 sect, who when polled about the movie said they were drawn to it for its sci-fi genre aspects. Paramount was keen to target the under 25 demo via creative online/social media initiatives and spots on MTV and ABC Family. That crowd showed up at 63%. One rival distribution chief’s observation: “Sometimes these teen movies work, and sometimes they don’t. It could have been something in the media buy.”

Relativity’s Kevin Costner racial drama Black Or White opened in fourth with $6.46M at 1,823 theaters. Exit polls for the Mike Binder-directed film were mostly older females with 64% women/36% male and 78% over 25.  Ethnic breakout was mostly white with 53% Caucasian, 30% African American, 9% Hispanic, 8% Asian and other ethnicities. With an A- Cinemascore, the film saw a 32% uptick between Friday and Saturday.

Open Road’s thriller The Loft crashed in tenth place with $2.879M at 1,841. The film was part of a service deal for Open Road, so their loss on the film is minimal. Exit demos for the film were split 50/50 male-female with 53% being over 25. The Loft drew a predominant Caucasian crowd at 60% with 15% African American, 13% Hispanic and 13% Asian.

In fifth, Universal’s The Boy Next Door from Blumhouse was down 59% during its second sesh with $6.09M at 2,615 playdates and a running cume of $24.7M.

Among limited releases, one of the more eye-popping successes was Warner Bros.’ IMAX release of HBO’s Game Of Thrones which included the final two episodes of Season 4, “The Watchers On The Wall” and “The Children” and a five-minute tease of Season 5. The film generated a per theater of $7,322 in 15th place, with $1.5M at 205 locations.

Top 10 films per studio reported estimates for weekend of January 30-February 1

1). American Sniper (WB), 3,885 theaters (+180)/ $10M Fri. /16.7M Sat.(+67%)/ 5M Sun. (-70%)/3-Day: $31.8M (-51%)/Total cume: $248.9M/ Wk 6

2/3). Paddington (TWC), 3,303 theaters (-52) / $1.9M Fri. /$4.5M Sat. (+134%)/ $2M Sun. (-55%)/ 3-Day: 8.5M (-31%) / Total cume: $50.5M /Wk 3

Project Almanac (Par), 2,893 theaters  / $3.1M Fri. / 3.8M Sat (+21%)/ $1.5M Sun. (-61%)/ 3-Day: $8.5M/ Wk 1

4). Black Or White (REL), 1,823 theaters  / $2.2M Fri./ $2.9M Sat. (+32%)/ $1.1M Sun (-60%)/ 3-Day: $6.4M / Wk 1

5). The Boy Next Door (UNI), 2,615 theaters (+13)/ $2.1M Fri./ $2.9M Sat. (+38%)/ $1M Sun. (-64%)/3-Day: $6.09M (-59%)/ Total cume: $24.6M/ Wk 2

6) The Wedding Ringer (Sony), 2,820 theaters (-183)/ $1.9M Fri / $3M Sat. (+58%)/ 720K Sun. (-76%)/ 3-Day: $5.7M (-50%)/ Total cume: $48.1M /Wk 3

7). The Imitation Game (TWC), 2,402 theaters (+377) / $1.6M Fri./ $2.6M Sat. (+64%)/ $924K Sun. (-65%)/3-Day: $5.1M (-26%)/Total cume: $67.9M / Wk 10

8). Taken 3 (Fox), 2,533 theaters (-376)/$1.1M Fri /$1.9M Sat. (+66%)/ 495K  Sun.(-75%)/ 3-Day: $3.6M (-51%)/Total cume: $81.3M/ Wk 4

9). Strange Magic (DIS), 3,020 theaters (0)  / $768K Fri./ 1.8M Sat. (+136%) / $860K Sun. (-53%)/ 3-Day: $3.4M (-38%)/Total cume: $9.89M/ Wk 2

10). The Loft (OPRD), 1,841 theaters  / $1.1M Fri. /$1.2M Sat. (+3%)/ 486K Sun. (-60%)/ 3-Day: $2.8M/ Wk 1

11.) Selma (Par), 1,714 theaters (-332) / $855K Fri. / $1.3M Sat. (-52%)/ $515K Sun. (-60%) 3-Day: $2.67M (-51%)/Total cume: $43.6M / Wk 6

Birdman (FSL) 976 theaters (+143)/ $455K Fri./$ 787K Sat. (+73%)/ 273K Sun. -65%)/3-day cume: $1.5M (-22%)/Total cume: $33.2M/Wk 16

Game Of Thrones (WB), 205 theaters / $686K Fri. /$575K Sat(-16%)/ 240K Sun. (-58%) 3-Day: $1.5M/ Wk 1

Mortdecai (LGF), 2,648 theaters (0)/ $476K Fri. / $704K Sat. (-48%)/ $245K Sun. (-65%)/ 3-Day: $1.4M (-66%)/Total cume: $6.8M/Wk 2

The Theory of Everything (FOC), 858 theaters (+349)/ $296K Fri. / $506K Sat. (+71%)/ $198K Sun. (-61%)/  3-day cume: $1M (-21%)/Total cume: $30.6M / Wk 13

Whiplash (SPC) 525 theaters (-42)/3-day cume: $720K (-9%)/Total cume: $8.6M/Wk 17

Black Sea (FOC) 313 theaters (+308)/$162K Fri. / $216K Sat. (+33%)/ $86K Sun (-60%)/ 3-day cume: $464K (+1132%)/Total cume: $516K/Wk 2

PREVIOUS, SATURDAY,  8 AM: With studio-reported estimates after 12:30 AM post. Distrib chiefs earlier in the week spoke about how Friday and Saturday are the saving graces during Super Bowl weekend since most films are frontloaded on those two days. Well, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper is the only film that continues to hook the masses and hammer the competition. Industry estimates had it at $9.9M last night, but Warner Bros. is calling Friday at $10M, with the rest of this weekend’s audience fractured across so-so choices at the multiplex. Current cume for American Sniper stands at $227.1M. The industry sees the Clint Eastwood film making double-digit gains on Saturday, and if the film clears $31.12M, it will be the biggest haul for a movie during the Big Game frame, beating the bow of 2008’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert. Fandango continues to see American Sniper topping its advance ticket sales list, followed by  Universal’s highly anticipated Feb. 13 release, 50 Shades Of Grey. 

If weekend estimates seem low, it’s because most B.O. analysts are predicting Saturday-to-Sunday drops of 70% or greater due to the big game. Family films such as Paddington will post softer daily declines on Super Bowl Sunday. That coupled with Saturday matinees, will propel the Bear to second place over Project Almanac with an estimated $7.8-$7.9M. Paddington made $1.938M per TWC yesterday.

project almanac 2In a distant second on Friday, Paramount’s teen sci-fi MTV film Project Almanac charted $3.1M, far below the industry’s mid-day estimate. The revised take on Project Almanac sees the film coming in way short of its $10-$12M projection, with $7.75M, further hindered by a B CinemaScore. It’s a disappointment considering how much O.T. Paramount put into promoting Project Almanac, creating interstitials geared toward the MTV universe, not to mention hitting a number of blossoming social media platforms.

With Snapchat, Paramount ran a custom Project Almanac video grabbing 16M impressions in 24 hours. Par also hooked up with Wattpad, where users contribute YA driven stories. The company targeted top writers on the platform to revisit their most popular stories, giving a character a “second chance” to play out a situation differently, much like the Project Almanac characters. The promo drew over 1.3M views, delivering Wattpad’s most successful campaign to date. Messaging app Yikyak targeted potential colleges crowds. In addition, Paramount engaged online influences by creating custom Project Almanac-themed videos with popular YouTubers including Smosh, Alexis Zall, Loanthony, Andrea Russett and popular Viner, Zach King, reaching a combined fan base of over 25M.

Kevin Costner Jillian Estell Black or WhiteRelativity’s Black Or White made $2.3M Friday and is now on track to slot fourth with $6.2M, above what the industry was pegging the film at during mid-day, but below its projected $7-9M estimate. The film earned a much needed A- CinemaScore. Kevin Costner and Rod Lake financed the film. Costner mentioned in interviews that he made the racial family drama outside of the studio system since the majors don’t make movies like this anymore. The film played at Toronto and found distribution through Relativity, but never caught on fire with awards bloggers or voters, for what most critics (at 34% rotten) saw as a movie-of-the-week without the crossover potential of such crowd pleasing African American dramas such as The Help, which appealed to auds in the South and the heartland. Black Or White’s lack of awards and critical traction remain its biggest banes.

Universal’s Jennifer Lopez film The Boy Next Door is slightly down from mid-day industry projections with $2M (Universal says $2.1M) on Friday night and an anticipated FSS of $5.7M for fifth, off 61% in its second frame with a cume just over $24M. Some analysts think the film could make $6M this weekend. The $4M Blumhouse production should rank fifth. That 61% drop is steeper than Lopez’s previous thriller, 2002’s Enough which bowed to a similar gross as Boy Next Door — $14Mbut only declined 51% on its way to a final cume of $40M.

Sony’s The Wedding Ringer generated $1.9M Friday with a projected $5.8M FSS and a $48.2M cume. It is looking to hook sixth place for the weekend. The Kevin Hart film will soon surpass his romantic comedy About Last Night ($48.6M), the title that mostly all analysts have been using as a comp for the comedian’s latest R-rated film.

With 377 additional locales and a theater count of 2,402, TWC’s The Imitation Game made $1.6M Friday on its way to 3-day of $5.3M in 7th which would give it a great -24% hold and a running cume of $68.1M.

Fox/EuropaCorp’s Taken 3 made $1.185M per Fox in Saturday AM reported figures. The Liam Neeson action film will clear $80M this weekend.

Disney/Lucasfilm’s lackluster performer Strange Magic looks to keep afloat in ninth place during its second weekend bolstered by matinees and some family crowds opting out of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Industry estimates see $3.5M over FSS, a 36% decline with a running cume of $9.9M. Disney is reporting a Friday till for Strange Magic of $768K.

The weekend’s third new wide release, eye-candy thriller The Loft is way off its mid-single digits estimate, with a projected 10th place haul of $2.6M. The film, which was kicked between Warner Bros. and Universal before landing at Open Road, earned a B- CinemaScore and a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Hardly any critics saw the film, and of the 17 who did, all of them gave it a thumbs down. Open Road is reporting a $1.179M Friday.

Black SeaFocus Features’ submarine treasure hunt pic Black Sea, which earned an 84% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, expanded its theaters from five in New York and Los Angeles to 313 in its second sesh, reaping enormous gains on Friday with $144K and an estimated FSS of $386K. Cume by Sunday should be at $438K.


The top 10 films per industry estimates on Friday night:

1). American Sniper (WB), 3,885 theaters (+180)/ $9.9M Fri. (-46%) /3-Day: $31.3M (-52%)/Total cume: $248.7M/ Wk 6

2). Paddington (TWC), 3,303 theaters (-52) / $1.9M Fri. (-27%) / 3-Day: $7.8M (-36%) / Total cume: $49.9M /Wk 3

3). Project Almanac (Par), 2,893 theaters  / $3.1M Fri. / 3-Day: $7.75M/ Wk 1

4). Black or White (REL), 1,823 theaters  / $2.3M Fri./ 3-Day: $6.2M / Wk 1

5). The Boy Next Door (UNI), 2,615 theaters  (13)/ $2M Fri.(-64%)/ 3-Day: $5.7M (-61%)/ Total cume: $24.1M/Wk 2

6). The Wedding Ringer (Sony), 2,820 theaters (-183)/ $1.89M Fri. (-42%) / 3-Day: $5.6M (-50%)/ Total cume: $48M /Wk 3

7). The Imitation Game (TWC), 2,402 theaters (+377) / $1.6M Fri. (-15%) / 3-Day: $5.38M (-22%)/Total cume: $68.1M / Wk 10

8). Taken 3 (Fox), 2,533 theaters (-376)/$2M Fri (-42%). / 3-Day: $3.8M (-48%)/Total cume: $81.5M/ Wk 4

9). Strange Magic (DIS), 3,020 theaters (0)  / $1.3M Fri. (-35%)/ 3-Day: $3.5M (-36%)/Total cume: $9.9M/ Wk 2

10). The Loft (OPRD), 1,841 theaters  / $1M Fri. / 3-Day: $2.6M/ Wk 1


Selma (Par), 1,714 theaters (-332) / $892K Fri. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $2.7M (-50%)/Total cume: $43.6M / Wk 6

Game Of Thrones (WB), 205 theaters/ $686K Fri. / 3-Day: $1.9M / Wk 1

Birdman (FSL) 976 theaters (+143)/ $466K Fri. (-5%)/3-day cume: $1.66M (-14%)/Total cume: $33.38M/Wk 16

Mortdecai (LGF), 2,648 theaters (0)/ $491K Fri. (-67%)/ 3-Day: $1.5M (-64%)/Total cume: $6.9M/Wk 2

The Theory of Everything (FOC), 858 theaters (+349)/ $286K Fri. (-11%)/ 3-day cume: $982K (-22%)/Total cume: $30.5M / Wk 13

Whiplash (SPC) 525 theaters (-42)/$174K Fri. (-11%)/3-day cume: $620K (-21%)/Total cume: $8.5M/Wk 17

Black Sea (FOC) 313 theaters (+308)/$144K Fri. (+1102%)/ 3-day cume: $386K (+925%)/Total cume: $438K/Wk 2

Cake (FREE), 482 theaters (0) /$93K Fri. (-67%)/ $3-day cume: $266K (-71%) /Total cume: $1.58M / Wk 2

Boyhood (IFC), 125 theaters (-79) / $17K Fri. (-63%)/3-day cume: $57K (-69%)/Total cume: $24.96M/ Wk 30

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 1:30PM: Midday industry estimates show Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s American Sniper in first place with $9.8M on Friday and a projected FSS of $29.4M at 3,885 theaters. Box office analysts are expecting the film to spike 55% on Saturday night with $15.2M and falling 71% on Super Bowl Sunday with $4.4M. Domestic B.O. through six weekends is projected to be at $246.5M through Sunday.

Project AlmanacParamount’s Project Almanac is looking to bow in second with $4.8M today and $12.2M FSS at 2,893 venues. The film, which Paramount sneaked to favorable reactions at last summer’s Comic-Con, has a production cost of $12M. Project Almanac is opening day-and-date in Russia, Spain, New Zealand and select other territories, repping 20% of the overall foreign footprint. The UK, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Germany rollouts will begin in mid-February.

In third, TWC/Dimension’s Paddington is on track for $2.02M today and a weekend of $8.8M at 3,303 theaters, raising its cume past $50M by Sunday.

Universal’s Jennifer Lopez thriller The Boy Next Door is projected to log $2.2M today and a FSS of $6.34M in 2,615 hubs, off 57% from its opening weekend. Domestic cume by Sunday is estimated to be at $24.9M.

Fifth place belongs to Sony/Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer with $2.04M in its third Friday and an estimated weekend of $6.1M on 2,820 for an expected stateside cume of $48.6M by Sunday.

costnerblackandwhiteNewcomers Black Or White from Relativity and The Loft from Open Road are filing outside the top five for the weekend with FSS of $5.5M and $3.7M, respectively. The Kevin Costner-Octavia Spencer drama Black Or White is currently eyeing a $2M Friday in 1,823 theaters, while The Loft is projected at $1.5M in 1,841.

Warner Bros.’ release of HBO’s Game Of Thrones The IMAX Experience in 205 playdates is looking at a gross today of $1M with a projected weekend of $2.85M and a per theater average of $13,902. The last two episodes of Season Four, “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children,” are digitally remastered into the format’s image and sound quality with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 7:25 AM: Paramount Pictures is reporting its Platinum Dunes  sci-fi time travel film Project Almanac pulled in $375,000 in evening shows on Thursday and is eyeing $10M to $12M in its opening weekend. It opens wide everywhere today, playing in 2,893 locations.

the loftPREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY, 12:28 PM: Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper is expected to continue to dominate this weekend with approximately $35-$36M, off 44%, despite the fact that Super Bowl Sunday will steal away a number of male auds. Years ago, the studios use to consider the Big Game frame to be a deathtrap at the box office, however, distrib execs’ attitudes have changed in recent years as certain films geared toward females and teens have broken through to notables openings, i.e. the two highest openings over Super Bowl weekend are 2008’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds concerts ($31.1M) and 2010’s Dear John ($30.5M).  Even a male-demo pic has a chance during Super Bowl weekend with most of its business being frontloaded on Friday and Saturday.  Case in point: During the Super Bowl weekend of Feb. 5-7, 2010, Avatar in its eighth weekend did $22.9M, while 2009’s Taken drew in guys with a $24.7M FSS. Warner Bros. is adding 180 theaters tomorrow to American Sniper‘s count, raising it to 3,885 by tomorrow. American Sniper continues to be the widest R-rated release ever. Its domestic B.O. to date through yesterday is $209.6M.  Universal’s Jennifer Lopez title The Boy Next Door is looking at about a 60% slide with $6M FSS.

But more than the Big Game, another gigantic snowstorm in the Northeast, and also in the Midwest, has some distribution folks concerned. Outside of that, the anticipation is that Super Bowl weekend will be as solid as in previous years. While 2013 and 2014 respectively charted $88.6M and $86.1M total domestic weekends, the Super Bowl frame has the potential to rack up $100-$128M in domestic ticket sales.

Looking to gather teens is Paramount’s Platinum Dunes sci-fi time travel film Project Almanac, which will unspool in over 2,800 locations and should see $10-$12M over three days. Released through the studio’s Insurge label and MTV Films, Paramount has been pushing Project Alamanac via unique promotional interstitials on MTV with the theme of ‘What would you redo in your life?’. There was also a Project Almanac video released on teen social media platform Snapchat. Paramount was estimating to get 7-8M impressions from the video and they received 16M.  In addition, there was a special Project Almanac vignette promo that aired during last night’s episode of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, an ‘it’ TV series for tweens and young teens.

Relativity Studios is opening Kevin Costner’s Black Or White in around 1,700 locations with an expected FSS of $7-9M.  The film written and directed by Mike Binder, whose 2005 film The Upside Of Anger also starred Costner,  follows a grandfather (Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter.  When her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her. The drama, which is inspired by real events, premiered at last September’s Toronto International Film Festival. Costner financed it with Rod Lake. Black Or White is a Treehouse Films production in association with Sunlight Productions and IM Global; the latter which is also handling foreign with Relativity.

Open Road Films, which was able to penetrate Halloween weekend with a $10.4M bow of its cult thriller Nightcrawler, is looking to lure women with the thriller The Loft this weekend. The film directed by Erik Van Looy was acquired by Open Road after Universal punted the thriller off its release schedule back in June. Originally the film was set up at Warner Bros. at its Dark Castle label in 2011. Sources say The Loft should make mid-single digits over FSS. The murder mystery follows five married guys who share a penthouse where they indulge in their extramarital affairs. Chaos ensues when a woman’s dead body turns up.  The Loft stars James Marsden, Rachael Taylor, Rhona Mitra, Eric Stonestreet, Karl Urban and Wentworth Miller. There have been TV spot buys for The Loft on Oxygen, VH1, Logo, WE, TNT, TBS, MTV, Adult Swim, Syfy as well as ABC Family.

Fox Searchlight’s PGA and SAG feature ensemble winner Birdman is scheduled to raise its theater count from 833 to 962.  Through yesterday, Birdman has collected $31.35M stateside. Brian Brooks will weigh in with the arthouse preview tomorrow.