Clint Eastwood’s record-breaking “American Sniper” topped box office charts in North America for a second week, industry figures showed Monday, as debate swirls over the Oscar-nominated war drama.
The film, based on the true story of Iraq war Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, earned $64.6 million this weekend, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said, boosting its total haul to more than $200 million — a staggering pace.
Critics of the film say it glorifies violence and has led to an uptick in anti-Muslim sentiment because of the way it portrays Arabs and Muslims. But supporters defend it as an accurate, timely depiction of the sacrifice of US soldiers.
‘American Sniper’ is one of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture during the Academy Awards Nominations Announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, on January 15, 2015 ©Mark Ralston (AFP/File)
The film has earned six Oscar nominations, including one for best picture and another for best actor for star Bradley Cooper, who plays Kyle.
After “Sniper,” second place went to “The Boy Next Door,” a steamy thriller starring pop diva Jennifer Lopez as a divorcee who has an ill-advised affair with a handsome — very young — neighbor. It earned $14.9 million.
“Paddington,” a big screen adaptation of the family classic about a bear lost in the big city, took third spot with $12.3 million in ticket sales.
Comedy “The Wedding Ringer” was fourth with $11.3 million, Exhibitor Relations said.
Fifth place went to action sequel “Taken 3” starring Liam Neeson in his third stint as retired spy Bryan Mills, with $7.4 million in ticket sales.
For a second straight week, “The Imitation Game” — the Oscar-nominated thriller about World War II code-cracking mathematician Alan Turing — was in sixth place at $6.9 million.
Musical fairy tale “Strange Magic” — the first animated movie release by Lucasfilm since its 2012 purchase by Disney — debuted in the seventh spot, grossing $5.5 million.
Historical drama “Selma,” a best picture Oscar nominee depicting the epic 1965 Alabama march led by Martin Luther King in his battle for equal voting rights, was eighth, earning $5.4 million.
In ninth place was another newcomer, art caper “Mortdecai”,” which stars Hollywood heavy-hitters Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow. It made a disappointing debut at $4.2 million after mostly dismal reviews.
Rounding out the top 10 was “Into the Woods,” the star-studded big-screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, at just $3.8 million.
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