‘Identity Thief’ No. 1 With $36.6 Million. The actress’ new comedy Identity Thief, co-starring Jason Bateman and directed by Seth Gordon, ascended precedent prospects to achieve a $36.6 million debut, one of the top five apertures of all time for an original R-rated comedy and the top opening so far of 2013, besting the $28 million scored four weeks ago by fellow Universal pic Mama. Universal approximation that the blizzard, which paralyzed much of New England, took a 10 percent hit on box office grosses and that devoid of Nemo, Identity Thief would have cleared $40 million. The pic marks McCarthy’s first starring role since Bridesmaids — which opened to $26 million — and was fueled by females, who made up 58 percent of the audience.
Getting a B CinemaScore, Identity Thief stars Bateman as a guy whose individuality is stolen by a woman (McCarthy). Bateman at first inclined producer Scott Stuber on the idea of the two leading characters being men, but after seeing McCarthy in Bridesmaids, they modified the role for her. The comedy’s supporting cast comprises Amanda Peet, JonFavreau and Tip “T.I.” Harris. Elliot Inc. co-financed the $35 million film with Universal. Even with the achievement of Identity Thief, overall box office revenues were down 45 percent from the same weekend last year when The Vow debuted to $41.2 million and Safe House, to $40.2 million.
Also opening Friday was Steven Soderbergh’s separately financed Side Effects, starringRooney Mara and Channing Tatum. The psychological thriller opened to $10 million, approximately in line with expectations, and likewise received a B CinemaScore. Open Road Films is distributing Side Effects, which delves into the perils of anti-depressants and the pharmaceutical industry. Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones also star. Next week, the film — which Soderbergh claims will be his last- makes its international debut at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Side Effects came in No. 3 after Identity Thief and Warm Bodies, which fell a comparatively narrow 44 percent in its second weekend, grossing $11.5 million for a domestic cume of $36.7 million. Silver Linings Playbook sustained to enjoy an imposing hold, coming in No. 4 and falling only 11 percent from the previous weekend. The Oscar best picture contender, from The Weinstein Co., has now earned $90 million. In the midst of other best picture nominees, Argo made news in its 18th week in release, grossing $2.5 million to reclaim a spot on the top 10 chart as it upped its theater count to $1,405.