Box Office

Box Office Prognosis: American Sniper Executes Mortdecai With Extreme Prejudice

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This weekend at the Box Office American Sniper once again ruled supreme…as its likely to do for a long time coming. Meanwhile all the newcomers failed to make much of a mark on theaters, with Johnny Depp’s newest Mortdecai being the biggest disappointment of them all.  Details on that and more await in this week’s Box Office Prognosis.

But let’s begin with the continued success of American Sniper, which maintained its first place position this weekend with a three day take of $64 million.  That’s only a drop of 28%, which is the best hold EVER for a film that opened over $80 million.  It also ranks eight overall in terms of second week grosses, which continues to just be mind-boggling to me.  With a total cume of over $200 million, American Sniper has a chance at becoming the highest grossing release of 2014 (it opened limited in December.)  Yes, even higher than Guardians of the Galaxy or The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.  Putting all opinions of the film aside, that’s kind of god damn ridiculous, and a bit of a game changer in terms of how studios are going to look at R rated drama releases from now on.

And then the rest of the Top 5 is around to remind us we’re in January.  Making the most out of all the newcomers of the week was the Jennifer Lopez vehicle (yeah, she can still have those) The Boy Next Door, which grossed $14.9 million.  That’s a decent take for a low budgeted thriller of this type, although I severely doubt that it will hold up in the weeks to come.  Still though, it can probably end up moping around $40 million or so if it doesn’t drop too hard.  It only cost $4 million to make though so, hell, with that budget, anything is profitable.


In third for the weekend was Paddington, holding things together rather strong with $12.3 million.  That’s only 35% off its opening take last weekend, which makes sense — the film is really good people, and word of mouth is strong enough to keep audiences interested, it seems.  With $39.9 million, Paddington looks likely to make it to $75 million-ish before dropping off.  It’s already made a but load internationally, so this one is a blockbuster no matter how you slice it.  In number four was The Wedding Ringer, which dropped about 45 percent to a take of $11.3 million.  That’s an alright hold for the Kevin Hart comedy, which will end up making around $70 million as well before it leaves theaters.  Finally at number 5 is Taken 3, which rounded out the Top 5 with a gross of $7.4 million.  It’s made about $75.3 million in its three weeks so far, but that number is unlikely to get it up to $100 million, which will hopefully kill off the franchise.

And now for a little bomb report: both the Lucasfilm produced Strange Magic and Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai failed big time at the box office this weekend, landing at the #7 and #9 spots respectively.  Strange Magic netted itself one of the worst openings of all time for a film opening in over 3000 theaters, which is terrible but expected.  Mortdecai on the other hand is an all and out disaster, only grossing $4.2 million in 2700 theaters.  That’s Depp’s biggest bomb yet, and a sure sign that this actor is in a troubling spot in his career.  Time to hit Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean again, I guess.


Here’s the chart (always, numbers come courtesy of Box Office Mojo):

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And that does it for this week’s Box Office Prognosis!  Check back next week to see if American Sniper will be able to conquer some time traveling hooligans from Project Almanac.  The answer won’t surprise you, because it is yes.