“Identity Thief” Steals Box Office Crown

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The new comedy Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, stole the box-office crown this weekend, opening with $36.6 million, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com.

The debut was more than twice analysts’ projections. Projections were downgraded Friday in the wake of a huge winter snowstorm slamming the East coast.

Warm Bodies took second with $11.5 million.

Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Side Effects, which took third place with $10 million.

The Oscar hopeful Silver Linings Playbook took fourth with $6.9 million, bringing its total to a healthy $90 million and putting it within range of becoming the sixth movie nominated for a best-picture Oscar to eclipse $100 million before the Feb. 24 ceremony.

The other nominated films, many of which are still in theaters and continue to add to their grosses, are: Lincoln ($172 million), Django Unchained ($153 million), Les Miserables ($143 million), Argo ($122 million) and Life of Pi ($107 million).

The fairy tale update Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters earned $5.75 million.

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