Clint Eastwood’s Iraq war drama, American Sniper, earned an astonishing $90 million on its opening weekend, making it the most successful winter movie release in history. If that wasn’t enough, American Sniper has also been nominated for six Oscars, including best actor for its star, Bradley Cooper.
It’s pretty rare for a film released in winter to put up numbers equivalent to a summer blockbuster but it has happened before. Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christheld the record for the most successful winter opening weekend performance until American Sniper’s release. It grossed just under $84 million back in February 2004 and remains the highest-grossing non-English-language film of all time.
The LEGO Movie rounds off the top three, earning $69 million during its opening weekend last year. Despite that solid perfomance, however, it wasn’t nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar. In fact, somewhat bizarrely, it was only nominated for a solitary award – Best Original Song for Tegan and Sara’s Everything Is Awesome.