In its first weekend of wide release “American Sniper” more than doubled its most optimistic projections with an incredible $89 million 3-day haul. That was an extraordinary achievement, no question, but one surpassed in weekend two when director Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece slipped only -28% and hauled in another incredible $64 million.
Box Office Mojo says there is no question “Sniper” will pass the $350 million mark and therefore become the box office champion over every film released in 2014. That puts it ahead of the current record-holder “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” which just edged out the Marvel sensation “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
“American Sniper” is also on pace to become the top-grossing war film of all time.
The current record holder is director Stephen Spielberg’s wildly overrated “Saving Private Ryan,” which grossed $217 million in 1998. After just 10 days in release, “American Sniper” sits at $200.1 million and will easily pass “Ryan” sometime this week.
But that is not apples-to-apples. You have to account for 17 years of inflation since 1998.
That’s the real news — even when you consider inflation, “Sniper” is on pace to handily beat “Ryan.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, in 2015 dollars “Ryan” grossed $318 million. As I mentioned above, Box Office Mojo predicts “Sniper” will pass the $350 mark without breaking a sweat.
Down goes “Spielberg.”
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC