Weekend Box Office: Sex and Violence Sell

Amid a variety of new movies, Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ held onto the top spot at the box office and continued breaking records. At the same time, we saw a few mighty surprises: Jennifer Lopez’s career may not be over yet, nobody cares about George Lucas movies anymore, and Johnny Depp suffered his worst opening in 15 years.

Last weekend, ‘American Sniper‘ became the highest-grossing picture to receive a wide release in January. This weekend, it slipped a mere 28% in attendance and earned another massive $64.3 million. Having already amassed $200.1 million domestically, it’s now the second-highest grossing war movie of all time behind ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and is set to quickly eclipse that record.

Second place went to Jennifer Lopez’s salacious micro-budget thriller ‘The Boy Next Door‘. Made for just $4 million, its $15 million opening weekend was a huge success. Next weekend’s holdover ought to be decent, but does anyone really believe that this will jumpstart the star’s cinematic career?

Paddington‘ had a good second week, dropping just 35% and remaining in the #3 spot. A $12.3 million draw brings its domestic run up to $40 million, which is already higher than the movie was predicted to earn stateside.

Also in its second week, ‘The Wedding Ringer‘ had a mild 44% decline. With another $11.6 million, its ten-day total up now stands at to $39.6 million. Produced for just $23 million, the Josh Gad/Kevin Hart comedy is doing all right.

Three-week-old ‘Taken 3‘ rounded out the Top 5 with $7.6 million. After 17 days, Liam Neeson’s $48 million action flick has pulled in $76 million.

The George Lucas-produced animated musical ‘Strange Magic‘ debuted in the #7 spot to a lousy $5.5 million. Opening on more than 3,000 screens, this comes as a major blow to Disney. The film’s per-screen average was just $1,832. Yet that wasn’t even the worst opening of the weekend.

Johnny Depp’s R-rated caper comedy ‘Mordecai‘ opened in ninth place. After ‘Transcendence‘ and ‘The Lone Ranger‘, this comes as Depp’s third consecutive flop in a starring role. The $4.1 million gross marks the actor’s worst opening since 1999’s ‘The Astronaut’s Wife‘.

From 482 locations, Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Cake‘ had a very lackluster start. With a $1 million take and a per-screen average of only $2,081, distributor Cinelou may have jumped the gun with such a wide release. Jude Law’s ‘Black Sea‘ did a little better, but Focus Features had a much wiser distribution strategy. From five locations, the submarine thriller earned $35,000, or $7,000 per-screen.

Top 10:

1. ‘American Sniper’ (Warner Bros.) – $64,365,000

2. ‘The Boy Next Door’ (Universal) – $15,001,000

3. ‘Paddington’ (Weinstein/Dimension) – $12,391,000

4. ‘The Wedding Ringer’ (Screen Gems) – $11,600,000

5. ‘Taken 3’ (Fox) – $7,600,000

6. ‘The Imitation Game’ (Weinstein) – $7,136,000

7. ‘Strange Magic’ (Buena Vista) – $5,534,000

8. ‘Selma’ (Paramount) – $5,500,000

9. ‘Mortdecai’ (Lionsgate) – $4,125,000

10. ‘Into the Woods’ (Buena Vista) – $3,886,000


  1. Lord Bowler

    Saw Taken 3, because I already saw American Sniper.

    Taken 3 was good, better than 2, but not as good as one. I couldn’t help riffing on a few scenes, but it was a good action shut-off-your-brain movie.

  2. William Henley

    Why is Lucas still being allowed to make movies? He sold off his company, he needs to be told to stop making movies and go raise some Llamas or something on his ranch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *