As the cultural debate over the film American Sniper continues to swirl, the book on which it is based held the top three spots on the print bestseller list last week, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks approximately 80% of print sales.
The Oscar-nominated film, which hit theaters earlier this month, has far exceeded expectations at the box office, and is on track to break the record set by Passion of the Christ, in 2004, as the highest-grossing R-rated movie ever released. Fueling interest in the movie, no doubt, is interest in its subject matter, Chris Kyle, the sniper whose autobiography served, in part, as a basis for the Clint Eastwood movie.
As the movie has continued to draw viwers, Kyle, who shot in 2013, has been making headlines because of lingering questions about the veracity of some of the Navy SEAL's claims. Additionally, the man who shot Kyle is now getting his day in court and the defense is claiming that the film could complicate the trial.
The movie tie-in trade paperback edition of Sniper sold just under 79,000 copies in the week ended January 25, while the mass market tie-in edition sold about 33,000 copies. The traditional mass market paperback sold about 26,000 copies, giving the three editions, all published by HarperCollins, a total of about 138,000 copies sold at outlets that report to BookScan.
The first non-Sniper bestseller was The Girl on the Train, which sold approximately 24,000 copies, putting it in fourth place.
Sniper not only did well in print last week, it also held two places on the Apple e-book bestseller list. An enhanced edition of the title, also published by HC, was the top seller at Apple, followed by the regular edition, which was at #4.