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©Universal/ Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief"
© Universal/ Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief"
'Identity Thief' steals No. 1 spot at box office

By Todd Cunnngham

"Identity Thief" beat out the debuting Dwayne Johnson drug trade saga "Snitch" and returned to the top of the box office in its third week.

Search: Melissa McCarthy talks about weight battle

Universal's R-rated Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman comedy will take in  $14 million over the three days and is 2013's biggest movie at the box office, having made more than $93 million domestically since opening No. 1 with $34 million on Feb. 8.

"Those two (McCarthy and Bateman) are great in this," Universal's distribution chief Nikki Rocco told TheWrap Sunday, "and it doesn't hurt to be the only comedy in the marketplace."

With the film industry and many moviegoers attention focused on Sunday's Academy Awards, the Oscar weekend is typically a slow one at the box office. Even with that in mind, this weekend was down roughly 33 percent from the comparable period last year, when "Act of Valor" led the way with $24 million.

More from TheWrap: Why 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Is the Box Office Winner in Oscar's Best-Picture Race

The $13 million haul for Summit Entertainment's "Snitch," from 2,511 locations, exceeded industry analysts' pre-release expectations. Johnson stars as a father who goes undercover for the DEA to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in a drug deal. Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt and Barry Pepper co-star. Audiences, which were 53 percent male and 57 percent over 30 years of age, gave it a "B" CinemaScore.

The Weinstein Company's computer animated kids film "Escape From Planet Earth" was third with $11.1 million in its second week, and it got a boost from being the only real family fare in theaters. It beat out the weekend's other wide opener, also distributed by Weinstein, the Blumhouse Productions'  horror thriller "Dark Skies" which took in $8.8 million and finished sixth. Audiences gave it a "C+" CinemaScore.

Relativity's "Safe Haven" was fourth with $10.7 million in its second week, and the Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel now has a domestic total of $48 million.

"Safe Haven" beat out last week's No. 1 film, the Bruce Willis action sequel "Good Day to Die Hard," which took in around $10 million and fell off roughly 60 percent.

It's overall domestic total is $52 million after two weeks, and it's clear that the foreign market will critical if the $92 million action film, the first "Die Hard" movie in five years, is to be profitable for Fox. It added another $35.7 million from 67 foreign markets his weekend and has brought in a total of $133 million internationally.

The Weinstein Company's "Silver Linings Playbook," the only one of the nine Best Picture Oscar nominees still in more than 1,200 theaters, finished seventh with $6 million from 2,313 locations and raised its overall domestic total to $107.4 million.

The remaining three spots in the top ten belonged to the Lionsgate's zombie romantic comedy "Warm Bodies" with $4.7 million, Open Road's pharmaceutical thriller "Side Effects" at $3.5 million and Warner Bros.' "Beautiful Creatures"with $3.4 million.

The weekend's top 10:
"Identity Thief," $14 million
"Snitch," $13 million
"Escape From Planet Earth," $11 million
"Safe Haven," $10.6 million
"Good Day to Die Hard," $10 million
"Dark Skies," $8.8 million
"Silver Linings Playbook," $6 million
"Warm Bodies," $4.7 million
"Side Effects," $3.5 million
"Beautiful Creatures," $3.4 million

Also on TheWrap:
'Silver Linings Playbook' Dominates the Spirit Awards
Stunt Man-Turned-Director Wages Own War on Drugs with 'Snitch'

Feb 24, 2013 12:34PM
This just goes to show what level of quality recent  Hollywood movies have. I mean, think about it: a movie whose story-line was already used in an episode of "Friends" leads the other current releases for the No. 1 spot!
Feb 24, 2013 12:47PM
Wow....people are easily amused these days.
Feb 24, 2013 5:23PM
The kind of humor in this previews of this film seemed absolutely stupid to me.  It amazes me what people find as funny and other dont.
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