Identity Thief steals back top spot on US charts

Identity Thief reclaimed the top spot on this quiet box office weekend after it was ousted by A Good Day To Die Hard last weekend.

On a very quiet weekend at the US box office during which moviegoers were seemingly distracted by the Oscar telecast or unimpressed by offerings at the cinema, Identity Thief reclaimed its number one rank with a weekend haul of just $14.1 million. The Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman-starring comedy is the first major hit of 2013, with a total gross of $93.7 million through three weeks. It premieres in the UK March 22.

The closest competitor was Snitch, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Susan Sarandon and ranking second in the US with $13 million in its opening weekend. The thriller tells the based-on-a-true-story of a father who goes undercover in the world of Mexican drug cartels in order to save his son from a mandatory minimum drug law sentence. The film received middling reviews – however, its mediocre haul and critical reception are commendable next to other 2013 action-thriller flops Broken City ($8.3 million opening), The Last Stand ($6.3 million opening) and Bullet To the Head ($4.5 million opening). Snitch opens in the UK April 5.

Holdovers dominated the third and fourth spots in the US, with animated-alien family film Escape From Planet Earth in third with $11 million and Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation Safe Haven in fourth with $10.6 million. The latest from the master of romance novels has grossed $48.1 million through two weeks, and is faring better than his other adaptations The Last Song ($63 million total) and The Lucky One ($60.5 million total). UK Sparks fans can see the flick next weekend.

A Good Day to Die Hard fell from first place on the US charts in its second week, landing at fifth place with $10 million. The steep drop may mean that US fandom is dwindling for the twenty-five year old franchise, but the studio can rest easy knowing that the action thriller is cleaning up overseas. Internationally, Die Hard 5 ranked first with $35.7 million.

New entry Dark Skies, a micro-budgeted horror-thriller starring Keri Russell, bowed to just $8.9 million in its opening weekend, earning it a sixth place ranking on the US charts. The paranormal flick comes to UK cinemas April 5.

Silver Linings Playbook, starring newly minted Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, ranked seventh in the US with $6.1 million in its fifteenth week of release, further sealing the success of its slow roll out, aided by great word of mouth and awards attention. The indie rom-com has now grossed $107.5 million domestically.

Rounding out the US top ten were holdovers Warm Bodies, earning $4.8 million in its fourth weekend, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, earning $3.5 million in its third weekend, and fantasy romance Beautiful Creatures, earning $3.4 million in its second weekend.

Internationally, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey followed Die Hard, ranking second on the chart with $18 million after a successful opening in China. Les Miserables ranked third with $9.3 million, Django Unchained ranked fourth with $8.5 million, and Wreck-It Ralph ranked fifth with $8 million.

Check back to see if things pick up next weekend, with raunchy college comedy 21 and Over, fairytale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer, horror flick The Last Exorcism Part II, and thriller Phantom opening in the US. In the UK, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Safe Haven will debut.