UPDATE, 7:58 AM: As expected, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s American Sniper shot past Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I this weekend to become the highest-grossing domestic film of 2014, the latest benchmark for the Clint Eastwood war drama that hasn’t stopped going since its record platform release on Christmas Day. And American Sniper isn’t putting its guns down: it’s on track to make its way to $345M stateside.
Sniper, starring Oscar Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper, is now Warners’ fourth-highest-grossing film ever domestically, with an estimated $337.2M. This weekend chipped in a studio-estimated $4.1M in its 11th week in theaters. Lionsgate estimated today that Mockingjay Part 1‘s total domestic gross stands at $336.96M since its Nov. 21 release.
“The film’s success speaks to director Clint Eastwood’s brilliance and Bradley Cooper’s amazing performance as well as this massively heroic soldier Chris Kyle,” said Warner Bros distribution EVP. “His story resonated so completely, not just here in the U.S., but around the world.”
Mockingjay Part I overtook Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy back on Jan. 21 for 2014’s top slot as the late-release tentpoles kept filling their moneybags well after New Year’s Eve. Guardians was released Aug. 8.
PREVIOUS, FEBRUARY 26 PM: Two months after its Christmas day release, Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s American Sniper is still going strong at the domestic box office. By the second week of March, if not sooner, the film is expected to overtake Lionsgate’s November opener The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 as the highest-grossing release of 2014. Mockingjay‘s domestic B.O. stands at $336.45M through yesterday, while American Sniper has amassed $322.59M.
Heading into its 10th weekend, American Sniper is still wide at 2,914 theaters; compare that to The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, which is entering its 11th frame at 304 venues with a running stateside cume of $254M. Last Sunday, American Sniper won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing, one of its six nominations that included Best Picture and Actor (Bradley Cooper). The film generated $10M last weekend.
On January 21, Mockingjay surpassed Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy ($333.18M), an August release, as the highest-grossing film of 2014. While American Sniper actually has made 99.5% of its U.S./Canada tickets sales this year, in the B.O. annals it’s credited as a 2014 release, even though it launched in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The Clint Eastwood-directed film crossed the $300M threshold on February 15.
Need another amazing American Sniper stat? Warner Bros churned out eight mega tentpoles with the Harry Potter franchise, and American Sniper has beat seven of ’em stateside, trailing only the series finale, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($381M).