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AMERICAN SNIPER Passes HUNGER GAMES to Become Highest Grossing Movie of 2014

American Sniper is now the highest grossing movie of the year ... that year being 2014, that is. Thanks to the $4.5 million it brought in at the domestic box office this past weekend, American Sniper has now grossed $337.2 million. That puts the film past The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1's $337 million.

So here's where this record gets squishy. American Sniper opened in limited release on Dec. 25, 2014. The film only played on four screens and only grossed $1.3 million by the end of 2014. Because of that 2014 release date though, no matter how little money American Sniper earned last year, the film's entire earnings count toward 2014.

As of right now, 99.6 percent of American Sniper's total domestic earnings came in 2015. Thanks to those seven days in 2014, all of that money goes toward competing with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.2 million). Meanwhile, Fifty Shades of Grey gets to boast about being 2015's top grossing movie, even though it's only earned $156.4 million.

While American Sniper was locking down its place in the record books, the rest of the box office this weekend was pretty disappointing. Director Neill Blomkamp scored the weakest opener of his young career. Chappie opened to just $13.3. million. Blomkamp's career started with a bang when District 9 debuted to $37.4 million in 2009. He followed that with Elysium's $29.8 million. Blomkamp's next project will be the new Alien movie — can he break his string of diminishing opening weekends?

Last week's top movie, Focus, slipped to No. 2 with $10 million. The rest of the top five was rounded out by The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($8.6 million), Kingsman: The Secret Service ($8.3 million), and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($7 million).

The biggest disappointment of the weekend? Vince Vaughn's Unfinished Business. A dismal $4.8 million put the movie at No. 10. This continues a long streak of awful box office performance for Vaughn. Counting Unfinished Business, Vaughn's last five movies have all failed to crack $18 million their opening weekend.
AMERICAN SNIPER Passes HUNGER GAMES to Become Highest Grossing Movie of 2014 Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 3/08/2015 Rating: 5

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