Even with a massive winter storm shutting down many theaters from New York to Boston, Identity Thief still managed to dominate the box office on Friday with a very strong opening day. Side Effects, on the other hand, had a disappointing debut, and it now looks like Steven Soderbergh's swan song will be one of his lesser box office performers.
Identity Thief earned an estimated $11.2 million from 3,141 locations. That great start is noticeably higher than director Seth Gordon's Horrible Bosses ($9.9 million) and star Melissa McCarthy's Bridesmaids ($7.8 million). Universal Pictures is now expecting $35 million for the three-day frame, which would be the best opening weekend yet in 2013.
In second place, Warm Bodies plummeted 60 percent to an estimated $3.3 million. Through eight days, the zombie romance has grossed a decent $28.4 million.
Side Effects opened in third place with an estimated $2.8 million. That's a tiny fraction of Contagion's $8 million opening day, and is actually about on par with early 2012 Soderbergh disappointment Haywire ($2.9 million). For the weekend, Side Effects will wind up with less than $10 million.
In a sign that the storm did have a slight impact on the box office, Silver Linings Playbook had its steepest drop yet in nationwide release (35 percent). The Oscar-nominated box office hit added $1.6 million for a new total of $84.7 million, and is on pace to reach $90 million by the end of the week.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $1.4 million, which is off 52 percent from last Friday. To date, the fantasy adventure has grossed $39.5 million.
At 300 locations, Top Gun 3D cracked the Top 10 with an estimated $533,000 yesterday. That's more than Raiders of the Lost Ark made at 267 locations last September ($440,136), which suggests Top Gun could wind up with just under $2 million for the weekend.