Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper grabbed a record-breaking $5.3 million Thursday night, setting the record for the biggest Thursday evening gross for an R-rated drama.

The film’s expanding nationwide following is in part due to its recent Academy Award nominations.  American Sniper’s current momentum has built off the coattails of 6 potential Oscars, including best actor (Bradley Cooper) and best picture.

The $60 million war movie is based on the real-life story of Navy Seal chris Kyle.  If the box office numbers continue in fashion for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s gritty biopic , it will result in the biggest opening ever in Clint Eastwood’s career as a director.




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