Jason Bateman stars as Sandy and Melissa McCarthy stars as Diana in the film "Identity Thief."
Courtesy Universal Pictures
Jason Bateman stars as Sandy and Melissa McCarthy stars as Diana in the film "Identity Thief."

Story highlights

"Identity Thief" scored $36.6 million in its opening weekend

In comparison, McCarthy's last major film "Bridesmaids" opened at $26.2 million

"Warm Bodies" took second place

EW.com —  

Identity Thief (CinemaScore: B) fared even better than expected, bringing in $36.6 million over the weekend across 3,141 theaters. For comparison, Melissa McCarthy’s last major film Bridesmaids (though it was in a supporting role) opened at $26.2 million, in 2,918 theaters. With an opening like this, big things are surely expected from Seth Gordon’s R-rated comedy which has already surpassed its $35 million production budget. Though Bateman and Gordon had a successful run with Horrible Bosses after a $28.3 million opening weekend in July 2011, Bateman hasn’t had this kind of luck with most of his starring roles. Universal’s The Change-Up (with Ryan Reynolds) opened at $13.5 million in August 2011 and went on to gross only $37.1 million domestically, on a $52 million production budget.

Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies took second place for its second weekend with $11.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $36.7 million. This breaks Levine’s record, beating the lifetime domestic gross of his last feature, the cancer dramedy 50/50 with Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which brought in $35 million.

The R-rated Hitchcock-style, prescription-drug thriller Side Effects (CinemaScore: B) ended up beating director Steven Soderbergh’s January 2012 weekend opening of Haywire, earning $10 million weekend this weekend and averaging $3,845 per theater. We talked a little bit about stars Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum’s box office history yesterday. Another star of Side Effects is Jude Law, and he’s got a varied track record at the box office. He generally participates in ensemble casts – Anna Karenina, the Sherlock Holmes franchise, Soderbergh’s Contagion, The Holiday – making his singular box office appeal somewhat more elusive. Side Effects has Soderbergh’s name and another strong ensemble, and could go on to a respectable run, even though it won’t reach Contagion heights (the epidemic thriller eventually grossed $76 million).

EW reviews: ‘Identity Thief’

Rounding out the top five are Silver Linings Playbook and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. The Academy Award-nominated Silver Linings Playbook is now at a cool $90 million domestically. The Weinstein Company’s $21 million David O. Russell feature is steadily on its way to becoming a $100 million movie. This would be a first for Russell whose The Fighter came close with $93.6 million in domestic grosses. The $83 million Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters came in fifth place this weekend with $5.8 million, bumping its domestic total to $43.8 million. Notably, the Jeremy Renner vehicle is doing quite well overseas with $84 million.

1. Identity Thief – $36.6 million

2. Warm Bodies – $11.5 million

3. Side Effects – $10 million

4. Silver Linings Playbook – $6.9 million

5. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – $5.8 million

EW reviews: ‘Side Effects’

Top Gun 3D also opened in 300 theaters to a $1.9 million weekend, and awards favorite Argo expanded its release to bring in $2.5 million, bumping its domestic total to $123.7 million.

See the original story at EW.com.