(Reuters) - Box office juggernaut "American Sniper" held the top spot
at U.S. and Canadian box offices over the weekend with $31.9 million in
ticket sales, according to studio estimates.
The Oscar-nominated war film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring
best actor nominee Bradley Cooper as a Navy Seal sharpshooter easily
triumphed over several new releases as it closed in on a domestic total
of $250 million since opening on Jan. 16.
"Paddington", based on the series of classic children's books about a
loveable bear in search of a home, finished in second with $8.5 million
for Friday through Sunday.
In a virtual tie, it sold just $5,000
more in tickets than sci-fi time travel tale "Project Almanac," which
debuted this weekend with $8.5 million.
"Sniper"'s continued strong performance helped drive overall
office performance on Super Bowl weekend, when many Americans are
focused on the final game of the football season. Ticket sales were up
about 23 percent from the same weekend a year ago, according to tracking
"American Sniper" was released by Warner Brothers, a
unit of Time Warner Inc. "Paddington" was released by The Weinstein
Company. Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc., distributed "Project
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Stephen Powell)