Weekend Wrap Up: Identity Thief Steals Box Office Crown

After last week was predictably a bit down in light of the Super Bowl, the box office picked up this weekend, largely on the strength of its number one opener. I’m sure Winter Storm Nemo had a noticeable impact on the box office, but even still, there was a healthy improvement over last weekend, as Oscar hopefuls continue to pull in money throughout the top ten.

Identity Thief

Jason Batemen and Melissa McCarthy open Identity Thief to a huge $36.6 million. That handily gives it the highest opening weekend of 2013, beating Mama by about $8 million. Honestly, I was not expecting anywhere near this high of a debut, especially since the similar Horrible Bosses opened to a lesser $28 million. I guess McCarthy is pretty big now, and the concept was original enough to get people to turn out. Plus, well, 2013 has yet to have a bona fide hit, so the ingredients were there for this to break out. The reviews were harsh, with just 24% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, so we’ll see how that impacts its legs going forward.

Last weekend’s champ, Warm Bodies, slid 44% to $11.5 million. The Summit Entertainment film has pulled in $36.7 million now, which isn’t too shabby. For all their current popularity, zombie films haven’t historically done great at the box office. Warm Bodies ranks 13th among such films, according to BoxOfficeMojoWarm Bodies could easily move into the top ten by the time it’s finished.

Third goes to the well-reviewed but enigmatic Side Effects. I think the advertising did a poor job of explaining what this film was even about, and it shows in its weak $10 million debut. I can’t imagine the budget is very high on this one, though, so it might end up being fine.

Silver Linings Playbook dipped just 11% to $6.9 million. These great legs are really helping it build its case as a darkhorse Oscar contender. It inched over $90 million this weekend and $100 million is now within its sights. In fifth, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters dropped 39% to $5.8 million, lifting its total to $43.8 million. It’s already outgrossed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is….something.

2013’s highest grossing film, Mama, eased 34% to $4.2 million. The most frightening thing about its $64 million gross so far is its legs haven’t been that much worse than those of Zero Dark Thirty. Speaking of which…. my personal pick for Best Picture fell 23% to $4 million even. $83.6 million in the bank so far for Zero Dark Thirty.

In its eighteenth weekend, Argo reenters the top ten, which is absurd because it comes out on DVD in fewer than two weeks. Warner Bros. has added back a few hundred theatres, and the result gives Argo $2.5 million and a sum total of $123.7 million. For a film that debuted way back in October, this is might impressive.

Django Unchained (the D is silent) slipped just 24% to $2.3 million. Its $154.5 million total should be more than enough to ensure its victory over fellow Christmas Day opener Les Miserables, which is now well outside the top ten. Finally, Bullet to the Head manages to stick around for another week in the top ten. Down 57%, it made $1.98 million. $8.2 million for the soon to be forgotten film.

Led by Identity Thief, this was a strong box office weekend, especially for February. Next weekend, things really get rolling as Valentine’s Day weekend gives a perfectly timed romance as well as a perfectly timed counter-programming action film, as well as two other forgettable films.

Beautiful Creatures: This is trying way too hard to get the Twilight crowd to turn out, but it’ll probably end up working out. I’ll say $12 million over the weekend.

Escape from Planet Earth: I don’t even know. $10 million?

Safe Haven: Nicholas Sparks rules Valentine’s Day and Safe Haven looks poised to be pretty big. It should eat up a lot of demand on Valentine’s Day itself (which is a Thursday), so its weekend will be lower, but I still think it can make about $24 million over the weekend.

A Good Day to Die Hard: Bruce Willis is back again! Live Free or Die Hard opened to $34 million back in the summer of 2007, and while I don’t quite think that height will be reached, Die Hard will be the definitive movie for single guys over this weekend. Let’s give it $28 million. With that, I’m out. Have a nice week, everyone.

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