Any concerns Hollywood had about Melissa McCarthy stepping away from an ensemble and carrying her own comedy were assuaged this weekend as her pairing with Jason Bateman, Identity Thief, easily won the weekend with an estimated $36.5M weekend haul.
Even with adverse weather conditions affecting huge chunks of the Northeast, audiences will turned out for Seth Gordon’s comedy about a mild-mannered accountant (Bateman) forced to abduct the woman (McCarthy) who had stolen his identity and ruined his financial reputation.
It was a great opening for an R-rated comedy. As a comparison, 21 Jump Street opened to $36.3M last spring and went on to bank $138.4M on strong word of mouth. It’s also the latest in a string of positive openings for Gordon, who previously directed Horrible Bosses ($28M opening, $117.5M gross) and Four Christmases ($31M opening, $120M gross). Thief could hit those numbers, though it’s going to see stiff competition starting this week with Safe Haven, Beautiful Creatures and A Good Day to Die Hard.
Last week’s box office winner, Warm Bodies, held on to the No. 2 slot this week with an estimated $11.5M take. The horror/comedy/romance has now earned $36.6M and could continue to do well over Valentine’s Day weekend, though it will lose a lot of business to Beautiful Creatures.
Precious few turned out for Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh’s alleged swan song. The suspenseful drama earned $10M – good for a third place finish on the Top 10. But that was off from Soderbergh’s last two opening-weekend numbers for Magic Mike ($39.1M) and Contagion ($22M). In 2009, Soderbergh’s comedy The Informant! opened to $10M on its way to a $33.3M overall gross.
Elsewhere on the chart, the Top Gun 3D IMAX re-release earned $1.9M, which landed it at No. 11 for the weekend.
Here’s the full Top 10 list for the weekend:
MOVIE / WEEKEND / TOTAL
1. Identity Thief, $36.5M
2. Warm Bodies, $11.5M, $36.6M
3. Side Effects, $10M
4. Silver Linings Playbook, $6.9M, $90M
5. Hansel and Gretel, $5.7M, $43.8M
6. Mama, $4.3M, $64M
7. Zero Dark Thirty, $4M, $83.6M
8. Argo, $2.5M, $123.7M
9. Django Unchained, $2.2M, $154.5M
10. Bullet to the Head, $1.9M, $8.1M