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American Sniper takes almost $100m in record first weekend box office, beating Avatar

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar nominated film American Sniper has stormed to the top of the world box office, taking just under $100million over the weekend.

American Sniper, staring six-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper as navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a sniper with 164 confirmed “kills”, has clocked up $99.5 million in box offices across the world since its global release on Friday

The film has also been deemed a critical success, with reviews noting that despite its simplistic portrayal of Middle Eastern politics Cooper’s performance as a soldier traumatised – and still battling – his demons elevated the film above the usual American military hagiography.

The vast majority of American Sniper’s box-office sales - $90.2million - came from theatres in the United States.

Despite this, the success is particularly significant given that January is usually a slow month for releases. American Sniper broke the previous record set by Cloverfield in 2008 for its performance on Friday, and then beat James Cameron’s 2010 epic Avatar (which made $68.5million) for the most taken over the entire weekend.

Eastwood’s film is up for an Oscar for Best Picture, pitting it against The Imitation Game, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.

Taken 3 – the latest Liam Neeson adventure attempting to prevent his daughter being kidnapped – took $45.5 million over the weekend, followed by Paddington ($23.3million) and Seventh Son ($21.7million).

Online Editors