‘Identity Thief’ Is Weekend’s No. 1 Film, $34.5 Million

The Jason Bateman comedy “Identity Thief” opened as the top weekend movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters, with $34.5 million in ticket sales for Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.

Last week’s top film, “Warm Bodies,” dropped to second with $11.4 million. “Side Effects,” about the dire results that follow a housewife’s use of a new antidepressant, was third in its debut with $9.3 million in sales for Open Road Films, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Box-office revenue declined for a fourth weekend, during the typically slow pre-Oscar period when studios avoid releasing major new films. That ends next weekend when Warner Bros. issues the supernatural love tale “Beautiful Creatures,” from the young adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Twentieth Century Fox brings out “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the fifth in the Bruce Willis action series.

“It’s so early in the year that any changes, up or down, can really affect the percentages,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box-office unit, in a telephone interview. “If ‘Identity Thief’ hadn’t done so well, this weekend would’ve been even worse.”

Bateman plays a man whose finances are wrecked by a free- spending woman who assumes his identity. Melissa McCarthy co- stars as Bateman’s nemesis. The movie also features Amanda Peet and John Cho.

‘Side Effects’

In “Warm Bodies,” based on Isaac Marion’s novel, a zombie epidemic sweeps the earth.

Amid the chaos, a slacker zombie named “R,” played by Nicholas Hoult, retains enough of his humanity to remind himself not to be creepy when approaching pretty human girls. He rescues an attractive young woman, Julie, from fellow zombies and romance ensues. The film, from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., features Teresa Palmer as Julie.

“Side Effects,” directed by Steven Soderbergh, features Rooney Mara as the wife of a Wall Street executive. Her use of a new antidepressant drug to treat anxiety leads to unforeseen consequences. Channing Tatum plays her husband and Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones portray the woman’s therapists.

Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” an Oscar nominee still in theaters, was fourth with sales of $6.4 million. The movie, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro, follows an adult son who returns to his parents’ home after months in a psychiatric hospital.

Oscar Nominees

The film was nominated for best picture and Lawrence and Cooper received Oscar nominations for their leading roles. De Niro and Jacki Weaver garnered supporting actor nominations.

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D,” an update of the Grimms’ fairy tale, was fifth with $5.8 million. The movie is from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.

Revenue from the top 12 films fell 50 percent to $86.2 million from the year-earlier weekend, Hollywood.com said. Sales for the first six weeks of the year are down 1.2 percent to $1.05 billion. Attendance is down 2.3 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Feb. 8-10.


                     Rev.             Avg./    Pct.    Total
   Movie            (mln) Theaters  Theater    Chg.    (mln) Wks
================================================================
 1 IDENTITY THIEF    34.6    3,141   11,000     --     34.6    1
 2 WARM BODIES       11.4    3,009    3,774    -44     36.5    2
 3 SIDE EFFECTS       9.3    2,605    3,571     --      9.3    1
 4 SILVER LININGS     6.4    2,809    2,287    -17     89.5   13
 5 HANSEL AND GRETEL  5.8    3,285    1,751    -39     43.8    3
 6 MAMA               4.2    2,677    1,580    -36     64.0    4
 7 ZERO DARK THIRTY   4.0    2,562    1,564    -23     83.6    8
 8 ARGO               2.4    1,405    1,691     17    123.6   18
 9 DJANGO UNCHAINED   2.3    1,502    1,534    -23    154.5    7
10 BULLET TO THE HEAD 2.1    2,404      864    -54      8.3    2
11 TOP GUN 3D/IMAX    2.0      300    6,552     --      2.0
112 LINCOLN           1.9    1,517    1,235    -22    173.6   14


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $86.2        $173.0     -50.2


Year-to-date Revenue

     2013          2012
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $1,047        $1,060     -1.2%


Year-to-date Attendance:     -2.3%

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net; Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net; Sylvia Wier at swier@bloomberg.net

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