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‘American Sniper’ breaks record

Clint Eastwood’s R-rated Iraq War drama American Sniper opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend.

The film’s unprecedented success obliterated forecasts and set numerous box-office records. It easily surpassed Avatar to become the biggest January weekend ever.

The resounding wide-release opening is also tops for the 84-year-old Eastwood, whose previous best weekend was the $29.5 million wide release of 2009’s Gran Torino.

The Weinstein Co.’s well-reviewed animated film Paddington opened with an estimated $25.2 million over the four-day weekend. The Kevin Hart, Josh Gaad comedy The Wedding Ringer debuted with $24.5 million for Sony Pictures. However, Michael Mann’s cyber-thriller Blackhat, starring Chris Hemsworth, flopped. Made for about $70 million by Legendary Pictures for distributor Universal Pictures, “Blackhat” bombed with just $4.4 million.

In its fourth weekend of release, the civil rights drama Selma took in $11.5 million on the holiday weekend that honors its protagonist, King.

1. American Sniper, $105.3 million

2. Paddington, $25.2 million

3. The Wedding Ringer, $24.5 million.

4. Taken 3, $17.4 million

5. Selma, $11.5 million.

6. Into the Woods, $8.7 million

7. The Imitation Game, $8.1 million

8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, $6 million

9. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, $5.1 million

10. Unbroken, $5 million

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