'Identity Thief' Tops 'Snitch' in Close Race for First

on February 25, 2013 by Daniel Garris

After finishing in a very close second last weekend, Universal's Identity Thief returned to first place this weekend with $14.02 million. The break-out comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy was down a very solid 41 percent from last weekend's three-day frame. Identity Thief continues to outpace expectations and has now grossed $93.62 million through 17 days of release. That leaves the film just $6.38 million away from becoming the first release of 2013 to reach the $100 million domestic milestone. Identity Thief is currently running a comfortable 19 percent ahead of the $78.79 million 17-day take of 2011's Just Go with It.

Snitch placed in a close second this weekend with $13.17 million. The Dwayne Johnson vehicle from Lionsgate and Summit trailed Identity Thief by just $849,478 for the frame. Snitch opened in line with pre-release expectations, which were held in check by the film being a lower profile release for Johnson and by the poor performances of earlier 2013 action vehicles in general. After debuting with $4.16 million on Friday, Snitch increased an encouraging 35 percent on Saturday to gross $5.62 million. The film earned a B rating on CinemaScore, while the audience breakdown for the film skewed a bit towards male moviegoers (53 percent) and towards moviegoers over 30 (58 percent).

Fellow new release Dark Skies wasn't as strong, as it had to settle for a sixth place start of $8.19 million. The PG-13 sci-fi horror film from The Weinstein Company debuted on the low end of expectations. Dark Skies opened with $3.09 million on Friday, increased 13 percent on Saturday to take in $3.49 million, but ultimately lost more momentum on Sunday than had been expected. The film earned a so-so C+ rating on CinemaScore and isn't likely to hold up well going forward given the typically front-loaded nature of horror fare and the release of fellow PG-13 horror film The Last Exorcism Part II this coming Friday.

Second weekend holdovers occupied spots three through five this weekend, with The Weinstein Company's Escape From Planet Earth leading that group with a third place take of $10.68 million. The 3D computer animated film fell just 33 percent from last weekend's three-day start, as it continues to be aided by the current lack of other options for family audiences in the marketplace. Escape From Planet Earth has grossed $34.81 million in ten days, which is stronger than expected and places the film 21.5 percent ahead of the $28.64 million ten-day take of 2006's Hoodwinked.

Relativity's Safe Haven placed in fourth with $10.45 million. The romantic drama starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough was down a sharp 51 percent from last weekend, though the decline was quite understandable given that the initial rush-out for the film was boosted by the Valentine's Day holiday. Safe Haven has grossed a very solid $47.92 million in eleven days, placing it 16 percent ahead of the $41.24 million eleven-day take of 2008's Step Up 2 the Streets.

Holding up worse was Fox's A Good Day to Die Hard. The fifth installment of the action franchise starring Bruce Willis fell a steep 59 percent and four spots from last weekend to land in fifth with $10.17 million. Mixed word of mouth and the added direct competition from Snitch both took a toll on A Good Day to Die Hard this weekend. With an eleven-day start of $51.97 million, A Good Day to Die Hard is running a very disappointing 34 percent softer than the $79.03 million eleven-day performance of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard.

Fortunately, A Good Day to Die Hard continued to perform much stronger overseas this weekend. The film took in $35.5 million from 67 foreign markets. That brings the overseas total for A Good Day to Die Hard to $132.8 million and the film's global haul to $184.8 million.

Tags: A Good Day to DIe Hard, Safe Haven, Escape From Planet Earth, Dark Skies, Snitch, Identity Thief

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