Oscar-tipped movie American Sniper has failed to replicate its U.S. success across the Atlantic by limping home in second place in the U.K. box office chart battle.

The blockbuster, starring Bradley Cooper as real-life crack shot soldier Chris Kyle, opened to disappointing ticket sales of $4 million (£2.5 million) over the weekend (16-18Jan15).

It was easily beaten to the top spot by Liam Neeson's action sequel Taken 3, which notched up sales of $5.3 million (£3.3 million) in its second week of release.

The Theory of Everything came a close third with $3.7 million (£2.3 million), and the top five was rounded out by Into The Woods, with box office receipts of $3.2 million (£2 million), and kids' movie Paddington, which took $1.5 million (£943,000).

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BBC: BBC News - American Sniper shoots to top of US box office