'American Sniper' Continues to Dominate with $31.85M; 'Project Almanac' Starts Softly with $8.50M; 'Black or White' Lands in Fourth with $6.46M; 'Game of Thrones' Claims a Solid $1.50M in Limited ReleaseFebruary 01, 2015 08:47 AM

by Daniel Garris

Warner's American Sniper dominated the box office for a third consecutive weekend with an estimated $31.85 million. That represented the largest unadjusted Super Bowl weekend gross ever (the previous record being the $31.12 million debut of 2008's Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour). The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was down a sizable 51 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly took a hit this weekend from its target audience being focused on Super Bowl XLIX. American Sniper will likely re-stabilize next weekend with the Super Bowl out of the way. The film has grossed a massive $248.94 million after 17 days of wide release. That places American Sniper a very impressive 47 percent ahead of the $169.56 million 17-day take of 2013's Gravity.

With moviegoers not interested by the weekend's three new wide releases, Paddington moved into second place with an estimated $8.505 million. The well received family film from The Weinstein Company was up one spot from last weekend and down a slim 31 percent. In addition to being aided by good word of mouth, Paddington also likely received an added boost this weekend from family audiences who wanted to catch the film before Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water arrives in the marketplace next weekend. Paddington surpassed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed a very solid $50.54 million in 17 days.

Paramount's Project Almanac was the weekend's top opener with an estimated third place start of $8.50 million (with Paddington and Project Almanac currently only separated by $5,000, the race for second place is obviously too close to call). However, the low-budget sci-fi thriller opened significantly below pre-release expectations, as it failed to spark much interest among moviegoers. Project Almanac opened a very disappointing 57 percent below the $19.88 million start of fellow Platinum Dunes film Ouija this past October. Project Almanac was likely hurt at least somewhat by having been delayed by nearly a year. On a positive note, Project Almanac did receive a B rating on CinemaScore, which is very solid given the film's genre.

Relativity's Black or White debuted in fourth with an estimated $6.46 million. The drama starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer opened on the high end of its modest expectations, as the film was able to find a bit of audience this weekend despite poor critical reviews. Black or White performed very similarly to the $6.20 million start of Relativity's Beyond the Lights this past November. Black or White received an encouraging A- rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that the film is going over significantly better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

The Boy Next Door rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $6.1 million. Universal's low-budget thriller starring Jennifer Lopez was down 3 spots and a very sharp 59 percent from last weekend. The Boy Next Door has grossed a solid $24.69 million in ten days, but is likely to continue to fall off quickly going forward, especially with the upcoming release of Universal's highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey now in the near horizon.

Sony's The Wedding Ringer followed in sixth place with an estimated $5.7 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad fell 50 percent from last weekend. The Wedding Ringer is on the verge of reaching the $50 million mark with a 17-day gross of $48.14 million.

Further down on this weekend's chart nether Open Road's The Loft nor A24's A Most Violent Year were able to pack much punch. The Loft debuted in tenth place with an estimated $2.88 million. Meanwhile, A Most Violent Year landed in thirteenth place with an estimated $1.70 million from 818 locations. The Loft suffered from being given a last minute wide release (after being long delayed), while A Most Violent Year has seen its early momentum come to a halt after not receiving a Best Picture nomination. A Most Violent Year has grossed $3.17 million to date.

Warner's Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience had a far more respectable performance this weekend with an estimated $1.50 million from 205 IMAX locations. That gave the theatrical release consisting of the final two episodes of Season 4 of the popular HBO series a healthy per-location average of $7,322 for the frame. Game of Thrones The IMAX Experience is scheduled to play in IMAX locations through February 5th.

Weekend domestic gross

YearWeekendTop 10 GrossChg. LY%Total GrossChg. LY% Top movie of the week
19836 (Feb 11 - Feb 13) - 1983$18,268,0484%$20,383,7756%Tootsie
19846 (Feb 10 - Feb 12) - 1984$16,773,554-8%$21,335,1705%Unfaithfully Yours (1984)
19856 (Feb 08 - Feb 10) - 1985$27,809,17166%$30,884,97445%Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
19866 (Feb 07 - Feb 09) - 1986$31,379,92413%$34,068,27010%Down and Out in Beverly Hills
19876 (Feb 06 - Feb 08) - 1987$31,910,4492%$36,173,5406%Platoon
19886 (Feb 05 - Feb 07) - 1988$34,167,5597%$36,255,5710%Good Morning, Vietnam
19896 (Feb 10 - Feb 12) - 1989$36,086,5226%$41,828,94715%The Fly II
19906 (Feb 09 - Feb 11) - 1990$33,541,808-7%$44,026,5725%Hard to Kill
19916 (Feb 08 - Feb 10) - 1991$47,532,90142%$53,679,55422%Sleeping with the Enemy
19926 (Feb 07 - Feb 09) - 1992$43,178,687-9%$47,507,601-11%Medicine Man
19936 (Feb 05 - Feb 07) - 1993$49,145,34814%$55,894,69818%Loaded Weapon 1
19946 (Feb 11 - Feb 13) - 1994$48,342,754-2%$59,365,2536%Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
19956 (Feb 10 - Feb 12) - 1995$33,144,426-31%$36,620,496-38%Billy Madison
19966 (Feb 09 - Feb 11) - 1996$49,595,13150%$57,551,08757%Broken Arrow (1996)
19976 (Feb 07 - Feb 09) - 1997$65,668,12732%$80,669,42540%Star Wars: Special Edition
19986 (Feb 06 - Feb 08) - 1998$67,269,6542%$73,752,517-9%Titanic
19996 (Feb 05 - Feb 07) - 1999$58,207,531-13%$80,584,8329%Payback (1999)
20006 (Feb 11 - Feb 13) - 2000$71,893,72024%$92,487,19015%Scream 3
20016 (Feb 09 - Feb 11) - 2001$98,450,07937%$115,434,26725%Hannibal
20026 (Feb 08 - Feb 10) - 2002$64,305,697-35%$75,043,449-35%Collateral Damage
20036 (Feb 07 - Feb 09) - 2003$96,107,37649%$121,265,71562%How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
20046 (Feb 06 - Feb 08) - 2004$85,012,044-12%$111,993,260-8%Barbershop 2: Back in Business
20056 (Feb 11 - Feb 13) - 2005$98,391,52916%$120,263,6957%Hitch
20066 (Feb 10 - Feb 12) - 2006$97,756,886-1%$120,709,6180%The Pink Panther (2006)
20076 (Feb 09 - Feb 11) - 2007$87,055,561-11%$111,872,190-7%Norbit
20086 (Feb 08 - Feb 10) - 2008$82,974,360-5%$104,872,415-6%Fool's Gold
20096 (Feb 06 - Feb 08) - 2009$124,041,22749%$154,546,16047%He's Just Not That Into You
20106 (Feb 05 - Feb 07) - 2010$94,786,281-24%$113,588,143-27%Dear John
20116 (Feb 11 - Feb 13) - 2011$128,358,22335%$149,492,38632%Just Go With It
20126 (Feb 10 - Feb 12) - 2012$168,289,22231%$191,873,30428%The Vow
20136 (Feb 08 - Feb 10) - 2013$82,382,252-51%$104,163,039-46%Identity Thief
20146 (Feb 07 - Feb 09) - 2014$132,710,40361%$152,816,95747%The LEGO Movie