In spite of the vitriol spewed toward the movie “American Sniper,” Americans flocked to see the Clint Eastwood biopic of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in record numbers.
The previous record for a movie opening on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend was set last year by “Ride Along,” which opened with $41 million. “American Sniper” is estimated to have more than doubled that, bringing in an astounding $90.2 million.
Many in Hollywood and the media have express their dislike of the film, claiming it glorifies war. One member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the governing body that awards the Oscars, said Kyle “seems like he may be a sociopath.” That voter admitted he hadn’t seen the movie, only read an article in The New Republic about it.
Another Hollywood elitist, director and Oscar winner Michael Moore, called Kyle a “coward,” Seth Rogen compared the movie to fake Nazi propaganda, and the UK paper The Guardian asked, “The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?”
While the political left fumed over the movie’s success, the American public was having none of it.
Taya Kyle, Chris’ widow, expressed her gratitude for the film’s success on the Chris Kyle Facebook page Sunday. Posting a photo of her and Chris from a Christmas vacation to visit family, she wrote:
Today I don’t know exactly what to write. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and my heart is full. American Sniper has broken records, which follows such an honest path of Chris’s life. We never expected anything and were always in a moment of stunned silence at the response from all the beautiful people in this world.
After one weekend in wide release, “Sniper” is director Eastwood’s fourth most successful film and is expected to be his biggest, currently the 2008 movie “Gran Torino” with $148 million. Star Bradley Cooper has been nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Kyle and also produced the movie, which received a best picture nomination as well. “Sniper” is the first movie Cooper has produced, though he received “executive producer” credits on several of his previous films.
Taya Kyle ended her Facebook post with a thank you to everyone:
To all of you who have written, texted, or communicated support by simply seeing the movie and those who are offering opportunities to continue the work… I am so grateful for each and every one of you. It gives me strength and hope for the future. I am praying that God works through all of us and that you all are blessed in return for the tremendous blessings you are giving our military and police who take care of us every day.
United We Stand