Clint Eastwood's American Sniper continued its assault on the box office for the second week running, adding an additional $64 million to its already impressive haul.
This means American Sniper has just had the fourth best second weekend in box office history, following Avatar, The Avengers and Spider-Man. Ultimately, this brings the current box office for the Iraq War biopic to $200 million, putting it on course to being the highest grossing R-rated domestic release of all time.
To get to that accolade, it'll have to beat Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which eventually took in $370 million. There is still some way to go before American Sniper grabs this target, but it is within its sights if it continues to perform this well.
The Film Has Sparked Controversy
Of course, the success of American Sniper has placed the movie within the crosshairs of various critics and pundits. As a result the film has courted some controversy, especially considering its highly divisive central character and setting.
Although some on the right have lauded the film as a biopic of a hero, others on the left have suggested it is more of an inaccurate portrait of a psychopath who killed hundreds in an unnecessary war. Although Eastwood claims the film is inherently anti-war and not necessarily about the wider Iraq conflict - others have suggested a movie like this simply cannot escape its highly political setting.
Despite this controversy, it seems the box office sales of American Sniper haven't been harmed. In fact, the controversy might even be helping, as more people flock to the theaters to make up their own mind about the Oscar nominated flick.
...And Wiped out the Competition
Indeed, it seems even Johnny Depp's star-power cannot stop Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. His latest crime-caper, Mortdecai, opened last weekend, but it only managed a terrible 9th position, taking in a paltry $4.1 million. The film was mauled by reviewers, and it seems Depp's box office power might be limited to big blockbuster franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean.
This previous two major movies, Transcendence and The Lone Ranger, also bombed at the box office.