Clint Eastwood's latest American Sniper did something right this weekend. While the film originally opened on limited release on December 25th in the US, it expanded to over 3000 locations and clawed in $90 million domestically.
That's double the previous January record holde (Ride Along with $41.5 million) and puts the film as the second highest opening for an R-rated film ever, just behind The Matrix Reloaded's 91.8 million haul in 2003.
Add in some $25 million and counting from foreign markets and the film is already approaching close to 120 million after a few days of release. At this rate, its set to easily be the most financially sucessful of the Best Picture nominees, already pulling down more than Birdman, The Theory of Everything, Boyhood and Whiplash combined. Though its not as good as any of those films.
Which hardly matters, because its working for American audiences. While its not as jingoistic as I was expecting, there's certainly an air of palpable patriotism and general good feeling towards both star Bradley Cooper and legend Clint Eastwood certainly doesn't hurt matters.
Box Office Mojo surmises that the film could stand to earn $250 million domestically which would make it Eastwood's biggest film of all time - Gran Torino earned less than that globally. Right now, American Sniper is already his fourth highest earning film at the American market.
If you're interested, heres our review of American Sniper.