Despite heavy winter storms over the weekend, moviegoers didn’t stay away and ‘Identity Thief’ managed to take the top spot at the box office with a $36.59 million weekend. That easily beat the movie’s $35 million budget and is the best opening in years for Jason Bateman (versus $13.5 million for ‘The Change-Up’ and $28.3 million for ‘Horrible Bosses’). It’s also a new high point for Melissa McCarthy, who is finally coming into her own as a leading lady; by comparison ‘Bridesmaids’ pulled in $26 million.
Last week’s number one film ‘Warm Bodies’ slipped into second place with a middling 43.5% drop, raking in $11.5 million. That was just enough to keep it above newcomer ‘Side Effects’, which debuted in third place with $10 million. Steven Soderbergh’s films open all over the place numbers-wise; in the past two years he had ‘Contagion’ with $22 million, ‘Haywire’ with $8 million, and ‘Magic Mike’ with $39 million.
So, the opening numbers for ‘Side Effects’ aren’t necessarily a disaster for him, especially given the fairly solid reviews. They’re also not bad numbers for star Rooney Mara, in her first major role since ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ (which opened with just under $13 million back in 2011). Unfortunately, audiences just aren’t all that hyped for a creepy psych thriller as they head into Valentine’s Day.
‘Silver Linings Playbook’ slid down one more spot to fourth place with a 10.7% drop and a $6.9 million gross while ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ slid from second to fifth place with a 39% drop and a $5.7 million gross.