Snowstorm or no snowstorm, audiences across America have clearly been itching for an appealing comedy with recognizable jokers. Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy helped lead Identity Thief to an impressive $11.2 million opening on Friday. That tops the $7.8 million first day take for Bridesmaids, as well as the $9.89 million Friday of Horrible Bosses back in 2011. Identity Thief's opening is more in line with that of Todd Phillips' Due Date ($12.2 million opening day). Boxoffice.com is currently projecting a $35 million weekend for director Seth Gordon's latest hit.
Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects didn't fare as well in its debut this weekend. Pulling $2.8 million on Friday, the pharmaceutical thriller is on pace for an $8.5 million opening weekend. That's on par with last year's Haywire ($8.4 million opening weekend) and significantly behind Contagion's $22.4 million debut in late 2011 (though, to be fair, that film carried a larger international cast and wasn't rated R).
Last weekend's top flick, Warm Bodies, dropped 59.5 percent from its first day gross to $3.3 million yesterday. The well-received zombie-comedy is on pace for a $10.5 million sophomore frame.
Silver Linings Playbook continues its renewed run toward $100 million domestically. The word-of-mouth hit/multiple Oscar nominee grossed $1.6 million on Friday and increased its domestic total to $84.7 million. We're projecting a $6.5 million weekend.
Meanwhile, Argo continued to take advantage of its increase in theatrical venues with a week and a half before it hits the home video market. The Best Picture nominee was down just 3 percent Friday-to-Friday and took in $565k yesterday. Heading toward a $2.5 million weekend, Argo's domestic total through Friday stands at $121.8 million.
Lastly, Top Gun took in $530k on Friday to start its limited engagement IMAX-only re-release. We're projecting a $1.9 million weekend.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris