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American Sniper hits $200 million in US as Mortdecai flops

American Sniper

Story by Jack Foley

CLINT Eastwood’s American Sniper has continued to take the US by storm, surpassing the $200 million mark and breaking more records in the process.

The film, starring Bradley Cooper as US war hero Chris Kyle, took a further $64.4 million in its second weekend, a fall of just 28% and therefore the best hold ever for a movie opening to more than $85 million. It retained the top spot with $64.4 million, bringing its US gross to $200.1 million.

In doing so, it also became the No. 2 war film of all time at the US box office, not accounting for inflation. Hence, in its first 10 days of release American Sniper has managed to eclipse the $198.5 million earned all in by Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor.

It remains on course to overtake the $216.5 million grossed by Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in 1998. Ironically, Spielberg had been in line to direct American Sniper before ‘handing’ the project to Eastwood.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, was Johnny Depp’s newest film, Mortdecai, which marked another flop for the actor.

The film, which finds Depp playing a debonair art dealer who races to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold, only opened to an estimated $4.1 million, which marks the actor’s worst opening in the post-Pirates of the Carribean era.

It’s also his third big-budget flop after Transcendence and The Lone Ranger and his lowest box office debut since The Astronaut’s Wife ($4 million) 15 years ago. Mortdecai has also been slated by critics, some of whom have already named it the worst film of 2015.

The news was little better for Depp overseas, where the film only mustered a further $5.2 million from 33 countries.

Elsewhere in the US top five, family movie Paddington placed third, with $12.4 million for a better-than-expected $40.1 million US gross so far, while Kevin Hart and Josh Gad’s comedy The Wedding Ringer placed fourth with $11.6 million for a US total of $39.7 million.

Liam Neeson’s Taken 3 rounded out the top five with $7.6 million for a robust US total of $76 million to date.

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