‘Identity Thief’ goes up against winter storm, ‘Side Effects’ at box office this weekend

By Daniel S Levine,

The box office doldrums are expected to continue this weekend, especially with a record-breaking winter storm hitting the Northeast. That could spell doom for the two new wide releases this weekend, the comedy Identity Thief and Steven Soderbergh's thriller Side Effects.

Identity Thief stars Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in a road trip comedy, which hasn’t earned great reviews. It’s earned just a 27 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. Still, that isn’t likely to keep the moviegoers who can leave their houses from seeing it. Box Office Mojo is predicting that the Universal release will start with $25.5 million this weekend, which will be enough to top the box office.

Warm Bodies is expected to have another good weekend. It topped the box office last weekend, making over $20 million, despite the Super Bowl. Entertainment Weekly is expecting that the film will drop around 45 percent to $11 million.

Soderbergh’s film may be the last of the acclaimed director’s career and stars Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara and Jude Law. This is Tatum’s first release since his breakout 2012, which saw him star in three blockbusters (including Soderbergh’s Magic Mike). Side Effects has drawn good reviews, but many reviewers have had to try to keep from spoiling the film’s twists. According to The Hollywood Reporter, analysts are predicting a $10 million to $12 million debut.

silver Linings Playbook and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will probably round out the Top 5. Top Gun 3D is also hitting 300 locations this weekend.

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