Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" continued its box office dominance this weekend, picking up $64.4 million and steamrolling over everything in sight, including Johnny Depp.
Depp's latest exercise in cinematic oddities, "Mortdecai," left audiences cold, earning a paltry $4.1 million across 2,648 locations and coming in ninth on box office charts. It's an embarrassing performance for a star of his caliber and comes on the heels of box office disasters such as "The Lone Ranger" and "Transcendence."
"Mortdecai" cost $60 million to make and was backed by OddLot Entertainment and released by Lionsgate. It had been expected to gross in the neighborhood of $10 million.
"Mortdecai" wasn't the only box office non-starter. Disney's "Strange Magic," came in seventh, debuting to more than $5 million. It had also been projected to earn in the $10 million range. The animated film was produced by Lucasfilm, centers on goblins and elves and was inherited by the Mouse House as part of its 2012 purchase of George Lucas' company.
The weekend's other major new release, Universal's "The Boy Next Door," fared better earning a solid $15 million from 2,602 locations and second place status. The micro-budget film was produced by Jason Blum's Blumhouse for a modest $4 million and stars Jennifer Lopez.
Much of the Sunday afternoon box office quarterbacking will center on Depp's deflating career, but "American Sniper's" endurance was the true stunner. The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow release has made an astounding $200 million.
"The movie reached many, many people because it deals with family, with patriotism and it recognizes a hero," said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief. "You see it in the heartland and in the smaller towns. Theses are staggering numbers."
"American Sniper" cost $60 million to produce. It has not been without controversy. The film shrugged off the ongoing debate about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's heroism or lack thereof, to put up huge numbers and drop a slender 28% from its wide release opening last weekend. That's an industry record for a film that debuted in wide release to more than $85 million, passing previous record-holders such as "Spider-Man" and "Shrek 2."
"Regardless of anything that's come out on the negative side, the reaction from the public is so positive and this is one movie they have really supported," said Fellman.
Among holdovers, the Weinstein Company's "Paddington" nabbed $12.4 million, and has earned $40 million after two weeks in theaters. Fourth place finisher Sony's "The Wedding Ringer" snagged approximately $11 million, bringing its total to nearly $40 million.
The Weinstein Company's "The Imitation Game" officially became the top-grossing indie release, passing "The Grand Budapest Hotel." It earned $7.1 million pushing its total to over $60 million.
The film about code-breaker Alan Turing has also crossed the $100 million mark globally, and is on track to gross over $100 million in the U.S.
In limited release, Cinelou Film's debuted "Cake" to $1 million in 482 locations. The film about a woman with chronic pain had been expected to snag star Jennifer Aniston an Oscar nomination, but was shut out by Academy Awards voters.
Focus Features also bowed nautical thriller "Black Sea" to $35,000 in five locations. It will expand to roughly 300 venues next weekend.
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