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Why Is American Sniper Kicking Ass At The Box Office?

Cooper Sniper

  1. An excellent marketing campaign. A heavy TV schedule in December and January emphasized the tension of the sniper’s mission.
  2. Good awareness of real life sniper Chris Kyle’s story from his book and media appearances.
  3. Discussion of the film has become politicized, drawing praise and criticism from conservatives and liberals. People on both sides (as well as those in the middle) are anxious to see what all the uproar is about.
  4. Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Eastwood’s recent efforts were misfires, but he’s delivered many crowd pleasers as a director. Cooper is a likeable actor who has several solid performances in the recent past.
  5. The competition at the box office has been weak, even for January films.
  6. The six Oscar nominations helped drive attendance (more than for other nominees), because they were announced on the day before the wide opening.
  7. The weather has been mild for January in many parts of the U.S.
  8. American Sniper is a good, if not great, movie. It focuses not just on combat in Iraq but also on Kyle’s life and family back home.
  9. The film’s sad postscript has had an emotional impact on many who’ve seen the film (and then posted about it on Facebook).
  10. Kyle is portrayed as a hero. America likes heroes.
  11. It appears to be drawing people who rarely attend movies in theaters. (In the tradition of Forest Gump, Titanic, Avatar and others.)

Even though American Sniper has sold most of its tickets in January, because it was released in four theaters on December 25 of last year, it is officially a 2014 movie. Experts predict the buzz will continue and American Sniper will go on to top 2014’s box office leaders The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy.

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