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Conservatives fuel box-office ride for American Sniper

By Jake Coyle in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-22 07:13

Empty seats were hard to come by at Clint Eastwood's American Sniper over the New Year weekend, where the R-rated Iraq War drama - all words seldom attached to "blockbuster" - rolled to the kind of runaway success that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice.

The film, which blew away box-office expectations with a superhero-sized $107 million over the four-day weekend, was in many ways an old-fashioned kind of Hollywood hit: It was built on star-power (Bradley Cooper and the 84-year-old Eastwood), Oscar buzz (six nominations including best picture) and a largely adult audience (63 percent over 25 years old).

Certainly, the huge wide-release opening wouldn't have been possible without the strong support of a seldom-catered-to demographic: conservatives. Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros, called conservatives' embrace of the film "huge", noting it's an audience difficult to court.

Conservatives fuel box-office ride for American Sniper

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