There are two wide releases this week, Identity Thief and Side Effects. One of these films is earning amazing reviews and one of them is the overwhelming favorite to win the box office race. Identity Thief looks like it is going to finish in first place and it's only real competition is from last year. Last year the box office was led by a one-two punch of The Vow and Safe House, both of which earned more than $40 million. No movie is going to do that this year, so 2013 is going to lose big this week.
Identity Thief has two leads that have some really good comedic chops. Both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy have a number of very funny movies and TV shows on their resumes. However, this is not one of their best projects. Its reviews are just 28% positive reviews. I wasn't expecting an amazing movie like Bridesmaids was, but I was expecting better than this. On the other hand, its box office chances are quite strong with an opening of nearly $30 million not completely out of the question. It would be impressive and I think a $24 million debut is more likely. That's still a good start for this time of year.
Side Effects is reportedly Steven Soderbergh's final film and he's planning on retiring from making movies. If so, he has picked a good movie to end his career on. So far the film is earning 81% with many critics praising the film, while at the same time saying to avoid all reviews, because it is impossible to talk about the movie without getting into spoilers. Unfortunately, despite the impressive reviews, the film's box office potential seems a lot more modest. Maybe it will be a surprise hit and will come close to $20 million, but $15 million is as probably as good as it will get. Even then, I'm being a little more bullish than most and there are some who think Warm Bodies will earn second place.
Speaking of Warm Bodies, the film looks to ride its strong start and good reviews to a soft sophomore stint decline. I'm cautiously optimistic here and I'm going with a weekend haul of just over $11 million, which would push its running tally to $36 million. This is more than it cost to make, so the film is well on its way to profitability.
What more needs to be said about Silver Linings Playbook? The film should place in the top five yet again, this time with $6 million, while its running tally should increase to $89 million. At this pace, it should have no trouble getting to $100 million before long.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters should round out the top five with $5 million. Its domestic run has been disappointing, but its international numbers will likely save it in the end.
Date posted: 2013-02-07