The R-rated comedy exceeds expectations despite winter storm Nemo in the Northeast; Steven Soderbergh's “Side Effects” Opens in third place with $9.4 million.
Universal’s new comedy, Identity Thief, starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, and directed by Seth Gordon, stole the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, earning $36.6 million for the film’s debut. Elliot Inc. co-financed the $35 million film with Universal.
Summit Entertainment's Warm Bodies came in second place for the weekend, grossing $11.5 million for a domestic total of $36.7 million.
Also opening Friday was Steven Soderbergh's independently financed Side Effects, starring Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum. The psychological thriller distributed by Open Road Films opened to $10 million.
In fourth place, Silver Linings Playbook, from the Weinstein Co., continued to attract audiences, bringing in $6.9 million for a total of $90 million in the film’s 13 weeks at the box office.
Paramount's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters came in fifth in its third weekend out, bringing in $5.8 million for a domestic total at $43.8 million.
In sixth place, Universal and producer Guillermo del Toro’s horror film Mama made $4.3 million in its fourth weekend at the box office for a total of $64 million.
Sony and Annapurna's Zero Dark Thirty grossed $4 million for the weekend, taking seventh place and pushing its domestic total to $83.6 million.
Warner Bros.’ Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, made news in its 18th week in release, grossing $2.5 million to reclaim a spot on the top 10 chart. The film, coming in at number eight, has now grossed $123.7 million domestically.
Best Picture contender Django Unchained came in ninth place, taking in $2.3 million for the Weinstein Co. for a total of $154.5 million.
Rounding out the list at number 10, for the second week in a row, Steven Spielberg's historical drama Lincoln, from DreamWorks and Disney, brought in $1.9 million for a total of $173.6 million.
Also of note this weekend was the IMAX debut of Paramount's Top Gun 3D. The classic Tom Cruise feature, directed by the late Tony Scott, grossed $1.9 million, coming in at number 11 on the box office chart.
Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.