American Sniper took a huge bite out of the box office over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, earning a gigantic $105.3 million for the biggest winter opening of all time. The Clint Eastwood-directed war drama — which has been nominated for multiple Academy Awards — has earned its fair share of criticism for it's seemingly right wing sentiments. The film beat Kevin Hart's Ride Along, which previously held the record for highest January opening.
Hart‘s new comedy The Wedding Ringer, also starring Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, did well despite American Sniper's success with $24.5 million, helping to secure Hart's status as box office gold. While the Wedding Ringer lost some ground to American Sniper's unexpected numbers, it did score the top opening of all time for an R-rated film in January.
The film just narrowly lost the second place spot to Paddington, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville, which earned $25 million over the long weekend. Rounding out the top five were Taken 3 and Ava DuVernay's Oscar-nominated Selma, which will bring in $14 million and $9.8 million, respectively.
Next week, Jennifer Lopez's The Boy Next Door goes up against Johnny Depp's Mortdecai and Jennifer Aniston's drama Cake.
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(Photos from left: Warner Bros., Screen Gems)