‘Identity Thief’ scores big $36.6 million opening, despite Northeast blizzard

By Daniel S Levine,

While the Northeast was digging out from a blizzard, audiences in the rest of the country turned out in force for Identity Thief. The comedy wasn’t expected to open north of $20 million, but it blew past that, even besting Bridesmaids’ debut weekend.

Identity Thief, which stars Jason Bateman and Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy, opened with $36.6 million, notes Entertainment Weekly. Considering it only cost Universal $35 million to make, the studio has to be more than happy to see that.

It also provided Bateman with a much-needed hit. The Arrested Development star hasn’t had a big hit since 2011’s Horrible Bosses, which opened to $28.3 million. The Change-Up grossed just $13.5 million during its opening weekend.

Warm Bodies, which won the box office the previous weekend, slid to No. 2 with $11.5 million. It’s now up to $36.7 million.

According to Box Office Mojo, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects opened to a weak $10.5 million. Open Road Films tried to hide the plot twists in the marketing, so many might have been confused about what the psychological thriller’s plot is. The film does star Channing Tatum, but he is not a featured member of the cast like he was in his three 2012 blockbusters.

Silver Linings Playbook and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters stayed in the Top 5 with $6.9 million and $5.75 million, respectively.

Elsewhere, Ben Affleck’s Argo added another $2.5 million, even though it comes out on Blu-ray next week. Top Gun 3D grossed $1.9 million.

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