It’s a pretty objective assessment that most Americans don’t give half a damn about foreign film. Hardly any imports make it into neighborhood cineplexes, and the films that do score a theatrical run in major cities are lucky if they make enough...
The end of the year brings a surplus of ranked lists enumerating the best offerings of film in the past twelve months. Some come from huge samplings of voters, such as the annual Village Voice poll of American and international film critics, and...
It’s a big month for new releases on HBO’s new streaming service, HBO NOW. They’ve got 2014’s box-office champ, American Sniper, along with Liam Neeson in Taken 3 and Will Smith in Focus (which was an underrated movie). Plus it wouldn’t be October without some scary movies; HBO NOW’s adding The Purge: Anarchy, Trick ’R Treat, House on Haunted Hill, and, for those who need additional houses on haunted hills, Return to House on Haunted Hill.
There are moments that define a nation. Moments that show us the kind of Americans we really are. Today, we’ve brought shame on our great nation: Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper has surpassed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy as the highest-grossing film of 2014. How did we let this happen? How did we let a robot baby with an uncanny valley where its face should be defeat Katniss Everdeen and Baby Groot? How?
Ready for the Academy Awards this Sunday? Need help winning your Oscar pool? ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Mike Sampson and Managing Editor Matt Singer are here to help. Or potentially make things worse. Honestly, they’re not great at guessing the winners. But they’re going to try their best.
In most years, January tends to be the most boring month of the year for the box office. This is where Hollywood typically sends the movies in which it has the least faith. This is the dumping ground, the place where movies go to die so the studios can concentrate on their Oscar campaigns. However, thanks to ‘American Sniper,’ this January has bucked every trend. It may technically be a 2014 release, but Clint Eastwood’s war film has made the first chunk of 2015 interesting, shattering expectations and threatening to become the highest grossing film of last year in only a few weeks.
Last week, ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ squeaked past ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to become the highest grossing film released in 2014. Now, it’s starting to look thing ‘American Sniper’ may clobber them both. With a massive second weekend in wide release, the Clint Eastwood war film looks practically unstoppable at this point. With little to no major competition for the next few weeks, it should easily crack $300 million.
‘American Sniper’ had a record-shattering weekend at the box office, grossing an astounding $105 million from Friday to Monday. It’s already the second biggest earner of Clint Eastwood’s entire career after ‘Gran Torino,’ and with six Academy Award nominations (and great word-of-mouth) behind it, it’s posed to become his biggest hit ever.
A lot of people are going to act like they didn’t see the enormous success of ‘American Sniper’ coming, but the signs were all there. On top of the promising limited release numbers, there was the awards buzz. On top of that, there were the names of director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper. On top of that, the subject matter of the film is inherently attractive to the same category of moviegoer that makes Christian-themed films into massive hits. ‘American Sniper’ had one doozy of a weekend, but it’s not that surprising.
I wonder if Chris Kyle was a Clint Eastwood fan. ‘American Sniper’’s marketing materials describe Kyle as “the most lethal sniper in U.S. history,” but before his military career, Kyle was a cowboy. He wore a hat and boots, and even carried a six-shooter. Eventually, he gave up the cowboy life and decided to serve his country. He was a gifted marksman and trained to be a Navy SEAL. But even as a soldier, Kyle never lost that cowboy swagger—or that sense that someone has to venture out into the frontier and protect the American way of life. That’s what Kyle learned from his father—who raised him to be a “sheepdog,” a watchful protector in a world of sheep and wolves—and from watching violent Westerns like the ones that made Eastwood a major Hollywood star.