It is the film that is sweeping the nation. Causing all sorts of controversy, director Clint Eastwood's latest American Sniper has garnered a lot of attention for its depiction of the military. With a few Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper, it is a quality film with plenty to say. However, among its many achievements, it has somehow become a box office juggernaut and has broken a lot of records. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the highest domestic grossing war movie of all time.
With the film causing endless debate, it is amazing to note that the film actually has garnered a lot of revenue at the box office. With the unexpected $100+ million opening for its wide release debut, the film has broken out of the formula that has plagued various war movies in the past, including Zero Dark Thirty and Jarhead. The R-rated story of a soldier with PTSD is a fascinating one that didn't seem like box office gold intentionally. However, it has now done an unthinkable feat by opening in January.
In terms of box office, not adjusted for inflation, American Sniper has officially taken the lead. At a gross of $217.1 million, it barely beats out Saving Private Ryan, which ended its run at $216.5 million. Of course, adjusted for inflation, the picture looks greatly different with Gone with the Wind trumping both of these films at over a billion dollars.
On top of this honor, American Sniper is on its way to becoming the highest grossing R-rated movie, replacing previous holder The Passion of the Christ, which earned $370 million. Of course, that is if the steam behind the film can last that long, which is looking likewise with its predicted third week box office numbers. It is also on track to be the highest grossing January film, second only to the 2009 film Avatar, which was already out weeks prior.
It still has a ways to go before it can break the international numbers. Saving Private Ryan grossed $482 million worldwide. Still, with the box office backing it up and debates continuing to rage on, the success of American Sniper is something of a phenomenon and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. The only question now is if it can maintain its energy and possibly become an upset at the Oscars against favorites Boyhood and Birdman.