‘American Sniper’ expected to dominate box office again

Project Almanac
Jonny Weston, Sam Lerner and Allen Evangelista star in “Project Almanac,” from Insurge Pictures, in association with Michael Bay.

Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” is expected to tackle three box office newcomers over the Super Bowl Weekend.

The war drama could be No. 1 for the third weekend in a row and add $35 million to $40 million, according to people familiar with pre-release audience surveys. That would put it far ahead of the estimated combined total of roughly $25 million for “Project Almanac,” “Black or White’” and “The Loft.”

The film, which cost Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow about $58 million to make, shattered several box-office records and surpassed tracking expectations in the month of January. To date, it has made a whopping $213.4 million in the U.S. and Canada.

Adapted from the Chris Kyle autobiography of the same name, the film follows the story of Kyle (Bradley Cooper), a Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sniper in American history.


With its six Academy Award nominations, including best picture, the film has generated buzz among critics and audiences. It received a 73% positive rating from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and an A-plus grade from audience polling firm CinemaScore.

Of the three newcomers, teen time travel drama “Project Almanac,” distributed by Paramount Pictures, will likely fare the best with an estimated premiere of $10 million to $12 million.

The film, which cost just $12 million to make, is produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. It follows a brilliant high school student (Jonny Weston) and his friends after they uncover blueprints for a mysterious device that can take them back in time.

“Black or White,” released by Relativity Studios, could open to about $7 million to $9 million. Actor Kevin Costner financed the film, which tells the story of a grandfather (Costner) who is left to care for his granddaughter. Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie co-star in the film, written and directed by Mike Bender (“Reign Over Me”).


The drama has generated buzz since its launch at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. Chelsea Clinton hosted a discussion about the film at an event in Washington, D.C., where politicians such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein also spoke about the issues in the film.

Meanwhile, “The Loft” may pull in about $5 million. Open Road films is distributing the murder mystery, which is based on a 2008 Dutch film. The film stars James Marsden, Eric Stonestreet, Rachael Taylor and Wentworth Miller.

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