The Man with No Name hasn't lost his touch.
Clint Eastwood’s last three films, “Jersey Boys,” “Trouble with the Curve” and “J. Edgar,” failed to excite movie goers. That’s a polite way of saying they didn’t duplicate Eastwood’s box office standards.
Consider “American Sniper” a stark return to form.
The true story of Navy SEALs sniper Chris Kyle became the highest-grossing limited release in film history (10 theaters or less) this week, The drama, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Eastwood, scored a surreal $260,000 per theater in its first five days of release for a $1.04 million haul.
“American Sniper” takes a neutral stance toward the Iraq War, where Kyle showcased his superior sniper skills. The movie also shows how Kyle’s father taught him traditional values that served him well on the battlefield. Those qualities haven’t sat well with some film critics, and they could hurt “Sniper’s” Oscar chances early next year.
Audiences, however, are responding to Eastwood’s take on Kyle’s heroism in record numbers. The Hollywood legend’s sense of what Americans want to see on the big screen hasn’t faded since he starred as the nameless hero in 1964’s “A Fistful of Dollars.”
The limited release film goes wide Jan. 16, but select cities will host Chris Kyle Frog Foundation benefit screenings Jan. 14. Visit the group’s official site to buy tickets and see if a theater near you will be hosting its own screening. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. that night at the UA Denver Pavilions.
DID YOU KNOW: Steven Spielberg was slated to direct “American Sniper,” but he pulled out after he “couldn’t square his vision of the movie with the budget,” according to Deadline.com.