Super Bowl? What Super Bowl? Despite a clash of gridiron titans Sunday, many Americans still found time to watch American Sniper. Again.
Clint Eastwood’s war biopic collected an estimated $31.9 million, breaking the previous Super Bowl weekend record set in 2008 by Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert ($31.1 million). So dominant was Sniper that, all by itself, it out-earned the rest of the Top Five combined.
Of course, Super Bowl weekend is typically one of moviedom’s sleepiest weekends, and it felt like it throughout the rest of the cineplex. Project Almanac was the biggest newcomer, but that’s not saying much. It earned $8.5 million, which put it neck-and-neck with the family flick Paddington for second place (also $8.5 million). That’s a pretty dismal start for a teen-centric flick, even during this sluggish movie season. Personally, I think, the name was partly to blame. I mean, how many teens know what an almanac is anymore? And who would want to watch a movie about one? Presumably plans for any potential sequel—which I’m guessing would’ve been called Mission Encyclopedia—have been put on indefinite hold.
Still, Project Almanac did better than Black or White, Kevin Costner’s new feel-good (if problematic) pic. It finished the weekend with $6.5 million, besting The Boy Next Door ($6.1 million) for fourth place.
But both underperforming newcomers were world-beaters compared to the weekend’s third freshman movie, The Loft. This odd little mystery finished 10th and pocketed a paltry $2.9 million, which I doubt is enough to cover the rent. The Loft had allegedly finished filming way back in 2011, but apparently had been stuck on a shelf and forgotten about for a few years. Now we know why.
Final figures update: 1. American Sniper, $30.7 million; 2. Project Almanac, $8.3 million; 3. Paddington, $8.3 million; 4. Black or White, $6.2 million; 5. the Boy Next Door, $6.1 million.