Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Identity Thief” has turned out to be the real thing at the North American box office.
The comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy debuted at No. 1 with a $36.6 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Identity Thief” opened solidly despite the winter storm that buried much of the U.S. Northeast. Distributor Universal Pictures estimates the storm might have choked off as much as 10 percent of the movie’s business.
“It took such a chunk out of the business this weekend. But we can’t control Mother Nature,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s head of distribution. “We probably could have hit $40 million if it weren’t for the weather this weekend.”
The previous weekend’s top movie, the zombie romance “Warm Bodies,” fell to No. 2 with $11.5 million. That raises its domestic total to $36.7 million.
The weekend’s other new wide release, Steven Soderbergh’s thriller “Side Effects,” had a modest opening of $10 million, coming in at No. 3.
Tom Cruise’s 1986 hit “Top Gun” took flight again in theaters with a 3-D reissue that pulled in $1.9 million in narrow release of 300 theaters. The movie has a short run on the big-screen leading up to its Feb. 19 3-D release on DVD and Blu-ray.
Overall domestic revenues were down sharply from a year ago, when four movies had big openings — “The Vow,” ”Safe House,” ”Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and a 3-D reissue of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.”
Receipts totaled $105 million, down 45 percent from the same weekend last year — which was the only non-holiday weekend to have four movies open with more than $20 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“The same weekend a year ago was such a tremendous weekend,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “It’s really tough to live up to a weekend like we had last year. It was sort of a foregone conclusion that this was going to be a down weekend.”
“Identity Thief” came in above industry expectations despite the storm and poor reviews for the comedy, which stars Bateman as a man chasing down a con artist (McCarthy) who has racked up thousands of dollars of charges in his name.
The combination of the actors and the premise made it a review-proof comedy, Rocco said.
“I think people just want to be entertained,” Rocco said. “The chemistry between Jason and Melissa is the reason why this picture is doing so well.”
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. “Identity Thief,” $36.6 million ($230,000 international).
2. “Warm Bodies,” $11.5 million.
3. “Side Effects,” $10 million.
4. “Silver Linings Playbook,” $6.9 million.
5. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” $5.8 million ($11.6 million international).
6. “Mama,” $4.3 million ($6.1 million international).
7. “Zero Dark Thirty,” $4 million.
8. “Argo,” $2.5 million.
9. “Django Unchained,” $2.3 million.
10. “Bullet to the Head,” $2 million.
Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:
1. “Django Unchained,” $18.7 million.
2. “Wreck-It Ralph,” $11.7 million.
3. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” $11.6 million.
4 (tie). “A Good Day to Die Hard,” $10.1 million.
4 (tie). “Les Miserables,” $10.1 million.
6. “Lincoln,” $10 million.
7. “Miracle in Cell No. 7,” $9.5 million.
8. “The Berlin File,” $8.7 million.
9. “Flight,” $8 million.
10. “Kokowaah 2,” $7.3 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC..
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Mandela is accompanied by his former wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years in jail. (Reuters)
In this February, 1990 photo, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, gives the black power salute to the 120,000 supporters packing Soccer City stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. (AP Photo)
Nelson Mandela showed his passport in February 19, 1990, shortly after his release from prison. The South African government authorized an application for himself and his wife Winnie - (Juda Ngwenya / Reuters)
In this July 27, 1991 photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas, Cuba. (AP Photo)
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela acknowledges cheers from the crowd as he prepares to unveil the ANC's official election platform in 1994. (AP Photo/David Brauchli)
African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela greeted residents of Mmabatho in March 1994, during a visit after the nominal homeland came under South African control following the ousting of the former President Lucas Mangope. (Reuters/Howard Burditt)
South African President Nelson Mandela smiles with actor Sidney Poitier at a press conference in Cape Town in 1996. Poitier played Mandela in the film "One Man, One Vote" (AP Photo / Sasa Kralj)
South African President Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in a an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace.(AP/Louisa Buller)
Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly Cyril Ramaphosa, left, holds up a copy of the country's constitution which was signed by President Nelson Mandela, in December 1996. (AP Photo / Adil Bradlow / POOL)
Nelson Mandela at a news conference in Johannesburg in February 2000. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)
South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, right, received the Rugby World Cup trophy from President Nelson Mandela also wearing a South African rugby shirt, after South Africa defeated New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup , in 1995. (AP Photo / Ross Setford)