American Sniper continues box office rampage

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With Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper shooting down more box office records this weekend with an updated industry projection of $61.2M, another star-studded bomb went off at the B.O. following last weekend debacle: Depp’s $60M R-rated comedy Mortdecai flatlined with an estimated $1.6M on Friday at 2,648 theaters, on track for a horrendous $4.6M weekend in eighth place – far below the $10-$12M that distributor Lionsgate was expecting for the OddLot co-production. Among Depp’s wide releases, that bow is lower than his 2011 Hunter S. Thompson adaptation The Rum Diary, which posted $5.1M and was also overpriced ($45M) in relation to its final domestic cume ($13M). It’s Depp’s fourth flop domestically after Alcon/WB’s Transcendence ($100M budget, $23M domestic B.O.), The Lone Ranger ($215M budget, $89M domestic) and Rum Diary (This is outside his ensemble work in Disney’s Into the Woods which is looking to take tenth this weekend with a projected cume through Sunday of $121.29M).

Box Office: Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ Scores Record-Breaking $30M Friday

This piece will be dealing solely with American Sniper and its stunning $30.5 million opening day, with the rest of the Friday box office news to follow.

Going into yesterday, the biggest opening weekend for a movie Clint Eastwood directed and/or starred in is Gran Torino, which opened in wide release in  January 2009 with $29.5 million. The biggest January debut weekend was Ride Along, which earned $48m over the Fri-Sun frame of its $48m Fri-Mon MLK weekend last year. The biggest opening day in January was Cloverfield‘s $17.16m Friday as part of its (at the time) record-breaking $40m debut frame in 2008. The biggest single day was Avatar‘s $25.8m on January 2nd during its third weekend of release back in 2010.  The biggest R-rated openings of all-time are Hannibal ($58m), 300 ($70m), The Passion of the Christ ($83m Fri-Sun during its $125m Wed-Sun bow) The Hangover part II ($85m Fri-Sun during its $135m Thurs-Mon bow), and The Matrix Reloaded ($91m Fri-Sun during its $134m Thurs-Sun bow).

Katy Perry reveals her Super Bowl halftime guest

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Perry, 30, will take the stage during the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, and she told Willie Geist during the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots game on Saturday that she invited Kravitz, 50, to be her special guest.

The “Dark Horse” singer said, “He’s got so much style and this certain, how do you say it, je ne sais quoi… he’s the coolest! He’s the king of cool and he’s going to make me so much more cooler.

Perry said they’re still working on what they’ll sing, but a duet between the two is bound to rock!

Is There A Secret Ben Affleck Batman Movie Coming Out This October?

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If that’s true, Batman V. Superman has been split into two parts with Enter the Knight coming out this October 23rd and Dawn of Justice keeping its March release date.

Now, this is very easy to fake. The teaser is certainly out there and will likely be attached to WB’s Jupiter Ascending in February (and they filmed all that football stuff for the movie, so a Super Bowl showing wouldn’t be a horrible idea). The version of the teaser we’re aware of didn’t have any titles. This would have to be a more complete version, or one that’s poised for a Warner Bros. sneak attack.

Let’s pretend it’s not fake for a second. Batman is a very profitable franchise character and given that this movie started as “Man of Steel 2” and will suddenly insert an older Batman into the universe mid-continuity, that leaves a lot of world building needing to be done if a single movie is going to have an enjoyable battle between Batman and Superman that resolves in time to launch the Justice League concept. Toss in Doomsday, Lex Luthor and Zack Snyder’s style and one can imagine Dawn of Justice being a 2.5 hour Superman slugfest.

Box Office: ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Unbroken’ Lead Rousing End to Holiday

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Led by Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a strong slate of Christmas holdovers and new entry The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death drove revenue up more than 8 percent as the prosperous holiday season came to a close.

The spike in moviegoing is welcome news for Hollywood after an overall troubled 2014, when revenue tumbled more than 5 percent over 2013 and attendance hit a two-decade low.

New Line and MGM’s Hobbit topped the North American chart for the third consecutive weekend, earning $21.9 million to jump the $200 million mark and finish Sunday with a domestic total of $220.8 million. Overseas, the final film in the trilogy also continued to dominate as it crossed the $500 million mark, earning $52.5 million from 65 markets for a running global total of $722.9 million (it doesn’t open in China until Jan. 23).

GRAMMYs Behind the Song: Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’

When Taylor Swift sat down to write her now three-time-GRAMMY-nominated hit “Shake It Off” from her “first documented official pop album,” 1989, she wanted to create a song that got people out of their shells. In an interview with Radio.com, the country singer-turned-pop star explains how the song, which she cowrote with Max Martin and Shellback, came to be.

“Writing ‘Shake It Off’ was something that I wanted to do to basically create a song that was a song for any of us who have felt like we’ve been picked on or gossiped about,” Swift says. “But I didn’t want it to seem like we had been victimized. I wanted it to come from a perspective of strength, but I also wanted it to make people dance.”