'American Sniper' Nabs Six Oscar Noms & Breaks Box Office Records, Bradley Cooper & Screenwriter Jason Hall Who Spoke with Latin Post React
Clint Eastwood's riveting Iraq war drama, "American Sniper," which is nominated for six Oscars, has pierced through the box office this weekend.
The intense film was the top-grossing movie in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend, collecting $90.2 million in ticket sales and set a record for the month of January.
Screenwriter of "American Sniper" Jason Hall, who spoke to Latin Post in an exclusive interview, was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture nominee and shared his thoughts on the prestigious honor.
"I am so honored to be nominated and working with Clint Eastwood was just a dream come true," Hall shared with Warner Bros., who released the film. "I wrote this film for Taya Kyle and all the military families out there and my great hope is that by shining a light on what they go through, it can inspire us to do more for those who served, and sacrificed so much."
Actor Bradley Cooper was nominated for Best Actor, Best Picture nominee also share his thoughts.
"This is a tribute to Chris Kyle, his family and all of the service men and women who sacrifice their lives for their countries and their families," he said. "It is a privilege and an honor to play Chris, and I share this with Sienna, Clint, Jason Hall, the rest of seal team three and everyone involved with the film."
"American Sniper" "surprised the industry by reaping amounts usually not seen until summer weekends, helping kick off a year that's expected to haul in at least $11 billion for the first time on the back of new entries from past successful franchises including 'Star Wars,' 'Terminator' and 'Jurassic Park,'" said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Rentrak, according to Bloomberg. "The three-day take for 'American Sniper' was a record for a January weekend, surpassing the $68.5 million brought in by 'Avatar' over the first weekend of 2010."
To further put things into perspective, "American Sniper" is Eastwood's biggest debut for it surpassed "Gran Torino," which earned $29.5 million for the Oscar-winning director in 2008.
"On its first night of wide release Friday, American Sniper made $30.5 million," USA Today reported.
"No one saw this coming. This really obliterated expectations," Dergarabedian said. "[Eastwood's] an octogenarian, and he's still rocking it."
"The Wedding Ringer," a comedy starring Kevin Hart and Argentinian actor Ignacio Serricchio, who also spoke with Latin Post in exclusive interviews, came in second with weekend sales of $21 million for Sony Pictures (6758)' Screen Gems, according to industry researcher Rentrak Corp. The Weinstein Company's "Paddington" collected $19.3 million.
Hall's "American Sniper" screenplay is based on the autobiography, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," written by Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at No. 1.
"American Sniper" highlights Kyle's dual life as a U.S. Navy Seal sharpshooter and a loving husband and father. On his return from duty, he helped his fellow veterans in need -- an act of kindness that tragically took his life. In February 2013, after surviving four tours in Iraq, Kyle was killed by a war veteran he was helping at a shooting range in Texas.
"If you're going to do this, you're going to do this right because this is going to play a part in the way my kids remember their father,'" Taya, the real-life wife of Kyle who helped to tell her husband's story, told Hall.
"It felt like a burden in that moment, but what it turned into was this huge privilege," Hall told Latin Post.
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