‘Sniper’ strikes another record in U.S.

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‘Sniper’ strikes another record in U.S.

“American Sniper’’ shot down another box-office record: Its $31.9 million is the biggest Super Bowl weekend gross ever.

According to studio estimates Sunday, the Clint Eastwood film narrowly surpassed the previous top Super Bowl weekend draw. The concert film “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour’’ earned $31.1 million in 2008.

Hollywood often avoids competing with the Super Bowl as movie-going falls dramatically on Sunday, but “American Sniper’’ has proven an unlikely sensation. It has now made $248.9 million in six weeks (and only three weeks of wide release), making it the most lucrative war movie without adjusting for inflation. (The distinction was previously held by Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.’’)

The competition was thin, as Hollywood held off any high-profile releases, largely ceding the weekend to football.

The Weinstein Co. animated adaptation “Paddington’’ came in a distant second with $8.5 million in its third weekend. In a virtual tie with it was Paramount’s found-footage, time-traveling thriller “Project Almanac.’’

Made by Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, “Project Almanac’’ led a trio of new releases with modest box-office ambitions.

“Black or White,’’ a racially-charged custody drama that reteams Kevin Costner with “The Upside of Anger’’ director Mike Binder, opened in fourth with $6.5 million. Costner put up his own money to help finance the film, which Relativity Media distributed.

Open Road’s “The Loft,’’ a much-delayed remake of a 2008 Dutch thriller directed by its original filmmaker, Erik Van Looy, attracted little interest. It made just $2.9 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday to Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. AP

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