'American Sniper' Starring Bradley Cooper Dominates Box Office with Record Breaking $105 Million in Nationwide Opening Weekend

11:48 PM EST 1/18/2015 by Tam Woods, Celebeat Reporter

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American Sniper brought in a staggering $105.2 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in it's nationwide opening weekend. This makes it the biggest winter movie opening of all time, according to THR

The Clint Eastwood-directed war drama stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle and is an intense and emotional ride. The film expanded nationwide after first debuting on Christmas Day in four theaters.

Kevin Hart's new comedy The Wedding Ringer, comes in at No. 2 with $25 million. The movie also stars Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco. Paddington, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville is close behind at No. 3 closing in on a $25 million opening.

Rounding out the top five is Liam Neeson's Taken 3  at $14 million and the civil-rights drama Selma at $9.8 million.

American Sniper is based on Chris Kyle's autobiography American Sniper. The film stars Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman and Cory Hardrict.

Cooper wanted to make Kyle's best-selling 2012 autobiography American Sniper into a movie and the actor only got to speak with the most lethal sniper in American military history one time.

"Thank God I got to talk to him once on the phone,'' says Cooper, who is a producer and plays Kyle in the film to USA Today. "It was a very quick conversation. But I did tell him how serious I was about making this movie. And he should just know that whatever fears he had about Hollywood, to just put them aside and trust me. That I was going to do everything I could to tell this story."

Kyle was shot and killed on Feb. 2, 2013, at a shooting range in Texas. A troubled Marine veteran is now on trial for his murder. Little did Cooper know that his first talk with Kyle would be his last. 

After Chris's death, Cooper was on a mission to complete the movie in honor of Kyle, his family and all veterans.

"I had to do right by him and his family, there was really no choice," says Cooper. "You're sitting across the dining-room table talking to this person's father and mother. And his children and wife are there. And he's passed away. Knowing that they are putting all of their stories in your hands and the responsibly of that, it's actually unique."

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