Weekend Box Office Wrap Up: January 18th, 2015

January box office records weren’t just broken this weekend, they were shattered, and by a director some said was on the way out.

In at number 1 is American Sniper (read our review) with a massive $90 million. Most box office analysts predicted that the film would open huge based on its strong limited release numbers, but nobody expected the biopic would debut to such a huge tally.

American Sniper’s $90 million destroys Ride Along’s previous January box office record of $41 million, while setting a few daily records along the way. As one might imagine, American Sniper’s $90M also now stands as a personal best for both director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper (in a live action role), which is a surprising stat given the former’s resume.

Coming in at number 2 is The Wedding Ringer (read our review) with $21 million. Kevin Hart’s latest comedy did well all things considered, but we’d bet Screen Gems and Sony were hoping for more.

Hart has owned the month of January in past years – last year’s Ride Along was the reigning January box office champ until this weekend – but clearly the competition was too stiff. Still, with a fairly generic comedic set-up, $21 million speaks volumes about Hart’s appeal.

Paddington (read our review) comes in at number 3 with $19.2 million. The adaptation of the popular children’s book character performed admirably over the weekend, but by no means did it over perform.

The number 4 film is Taken 3 with $14 million. Liam Neeson’s latest action flick saw another steep drop-off this weekend, but is now up to $62 million.

Rounding out the top 5 is Selma with $8.3 million. The biopic held very well over the holiday weekend, which is to be expected given the subject matter. Selma is now up to $26 million total.

In at number 6 is The Imitation Game with $7.1 million. Benedict Cumberbatch’s critically acclaimed biopic is up to a very respectable $50 million.

Into the Woods fell to the number 7 spot with $6.5 million. Although the film has not been receiving much awards season love, it has grossed $114 million thus far.

Coming in at number 8 is The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with $4.8 million. The final film in the big budget franchise is now up to $244 million domestic and $803 million worldwide. Despite some disappointment from critics and fans, The Hobbit trilogy was still a solid moneymaker.

The number 9 film is Unbroken with $4.2 million. While Angeline Jolie’s film didn’t get much Oscar nomination love this week, it has still grossed $108 million.

Rounding out the top 10 is Blackhat (read our review) with $4 million. The film was panned across the board by critics, but even so, most expected a little more out of the Chris Hemsworth-led film.

Coincidentally, while American Sniper was setting records for box office highs, Blackhat flirted with a record low for a wide release. Director Michael Mann clearly doesn’t have the clout he once did.

Outside the top 10: Oscar contender Still Alice grossed $212,000 on 12 screens for $17,667 per-screen average.

[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, January 19th - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]

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