'Identity Thief' swipes No. 1 spot with $36.6M
"Identity Thief" has turned out to be the real thing at the box office.
The comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy debuted at No. 1 with a $36.6 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
"Identity Thief" opened solidly despite the winter storm that buried much of the Northeast. Distributor Universal Pictures estimates the storm might have choked off as much as 10 percent of the movie's business.
"It took such a chunk out of the business this weekend. But we can't control Mother Nature," said Nikki Rocco, Universal's head of distribution. "We probably could have hit $40 million if it weren't for the weather this weekend."
The previous weekend's top movie, the zombie romance "Warm Bodies," fell to No. 2 with $11.5 million. That raises its domestic total to $36.7 million.
The weekend's other new wide release, Steven Soderbergh's thriller "Side Effects," had a modest opening of $10 million, coming in at No. 3.
Tom Cruise's 1986 hit "Top Gun" took flight again in theaters with a 3-D reissue that pulled in $1.9 million in narrow release of 300 theaters. The movie has a short run on the big-screen leading up to its Feb. 19 3-D release on DVD and Blu-ray.
Bruce Willis' latest "Die Hard" sequel, "A Good Day to Die Hard," got a jump on its domestic release next weekend with a $10.1 million opening in seven Asian markets, including South Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Overall domestic revenues were down sharply from a year ago, when four movies had big openings - "The Vow," "Safe House," "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" and a 3-D reissue of "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace."
Receipts totaled $105 million, down 45 percent from the same weekend last year — which was the only non-holiday weekend to have four movies open with more than $20 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
"The same weekend a year ago was such a tremendous weekend," said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "It's really tough to live up to a weekend like we had last year. It was sort of a foregone conclusion that this was going to be a down weekend."
"Identity Thief" came in above industry expectations despite the storm and poor reviews for the comedy, which stars Bateman as a man chasing down a con artist (McCarthy) who has racked up thousands of dollars of charges in his name.
The combination of the actors and the premise made it a review-proof comedy, Rocco said.
"I think people just want to be entertained," Rocco said. "The chemistry between Jason and Melissa is the reason why this picture is doing so well."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jennifer Lopez: ‘Artist in me wants more freedom’
- Review: Depp indulges inner clown in charmless ‘Mortdecai’
- Pittsburgh-shot ‘Southpaw’ gets July release
- Review: ‘Kaguya’ magical, old-style folk tale
- IMAX ‘Game of Thrones’ coming to Waterfront theater
- ‘American Sniper’ screenwriter: His aim was truth
- Review: Jennifer Aniston dazzles, even if she won’t get an Oscar for ‘Cake’
- Review: ‘The Boy Next Door’ makes a lousy neighbor