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Weekend Box Office Report: February 22-24 2013

Feb. 24, 2013by: Dave Davis

Identity Thief snatches from Snitch!

Heavyweight action star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson may have entered the ring this weekend, but the championship belt was nabbed by IDENTITY THIEF, victorious in a slow box office period with $14 million.

As it approaches the $100 million mark in its third week, the R-rated Jason Bateman/Melissa McCarthy comedy is, domestically speaking, also now the highest-grossing movie released in 2013. (The horror-thriller MAMA is second with $70.2 million).

Even with its PG-13 rating (and the highest per-screen average in the Top 10), SNITCH was pinned in second place with $13 million. For The Rock as headlining action star, that puts its opening weekend between FASTER ($8.3M) and WALKING TALL ($15.5M) -- nowhere near his first solo outing THE SCORPION KING ($36M) or an ensemble like FAST FIVE ($86M). It's even lower than comedies THE GAME PLAN ($22.9M) or TOOTH FAIRY ($14M). He'll get another shot next month with G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, but it sure seems like a tough time to be an action star.

Just ask his fellow "Joe" Bruce Willis, whose latest A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD plunged almost 60% in its second weekend, tumbling from first place down to fifth with $10 million. It's performing far better than recent offerings from Willis' fellow action veterans Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it does also carry the advantage of brand recognition. While that DIE HARD name will likely be insufficient to get the movie to $100 million domestically, it's already racked up $132 million from international audiences, so there's little doubt that McClane will be back.

Thanks to a lack of alternatives for family entertainment at the multiplex, the computer-animated ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH stayed in orbit with $11 million (a 30% drop) for third place, followed closely by last weekend's new romance SAFE HAVEN with $10.6 million.

The new PG-13 alien abduction thriller DARK SKIES opened down in sixth place with $8.8 million. Although that's a low for director Scott Stewart, who previously brought us action-horror trash LEGION and PRIEST, the extraterrestrial terror only cost a meager $3.5 million to produce.

Three-and-a-half months since its initial (limited) release, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is still rolling along and has finally crossed the $100 million mark. It's also the only Oscar nominee in the Top 10, although ARGO, ZERO DARK THIRTY, LIFE OF PI and LINCOLN are lingering just outside the chart. WARM BODIES is still lurching along after a month, but the new TWILIGHT-wannabe BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is about to disappear after two weeks.

Next weekend brings the R-rated comedy 21 AND OVER, director Bryan Singer's big-budget 3D fairy tale JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, the demonic sequel THE LAST EXORCISM PART II, and Ed Harris/David Duchovny submarine thriller PHANTOM, plus the limited release of STOKER, from OLDBOY director Park Chan-wook.

What March release are you most looking forward to seeing? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Identity Thief $14 M $93.6 M
2. Snitch $13 M
NEW
3. Escape from Planet Earth $11 M $35.1 M
4. Safe Haven $10.6 M $48 M
5. A Good Day to Die Hard $10 M $51.8 M
6. Dark Skies $8.8 M
NEW
7. Silver Linings Playbook $6 M $107.4 M
8. Warm Bodies $4.7 M $58.2 M
9. Side Effects $3.5 M $25.2 M
10. Beautiful Creatures $3.4 M $16.3 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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9:15AM on 02/25/2013

For a second....

I honestly thought Escape from Planet Earth is the looong-awaited third part of Snake Plissken saga, somehow impossibly it got away from my radar..... And then I realize life is just not that good.
I honestly thought Escape from Planet Earth is the looong-awaited third part of Snake Plissken saga, somehow impossibly it got away from my radar..... And then I realize life is just not that good.
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11:33PM on 02/24/2013
I think Snitch should have been titled differently. Part of me thinks that didn't do it any favors

And how was Dark Skies produced for so little? I would never have guessed that
I think Snitch should have been titled differently. Part of me thinks that didn't do it any favors

And how was Dark Skies produced for so little? I would never have guessed that
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7:20PM on 02/24/2013
Comedy for the lowest common denominator. Thank you, you idiots who paid to see it.
Comedy for the lowest common denominator. Thank you, you idiots who paid to see it.
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7:05PM on 02/24/2013

IDENTITY T....

Who th F*** paied for this shit ???? How can a piece of crap like this be at the top of the box office ?
Who th F*** paied for this shit ???? How can a piece of crap like this be at the top of the box office ?
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4:17PM on 02/24/2013
The article mentions that the current time might be a tough time to be an action star. I have to wonder whether America's current gun-rights debate affects anything. For example, the NRA has blamed shoot 'em ups for encouraging violence. Thus, serious NRA members might be boycotting certain movies. Besides gun-rights advocates, many people are so disturbed by America's gun violence that they do not even want to view fictional depictions of firearms violence.
I do not think that the gun debate
The article mentions that the current time might be a tough time to be an action star. I have to wonder whether America's current gun-rights debate affects anything. For example, the NRA has blamed shoot 'em ups for encouraging violence. Thus, serious NRA members might be boycotting certain movies. Besides gun-rights advocates, many people are so disturbed by America's gun violence that they do not even want to view fictional depictions of firearms violence.
I do not think that the gun debate plays a major factor in low box offices for The Last Stand, Bullet to the Head, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Snitch. However, present politics could play a factor somewhere in these low receipts. We movie-watchers shall see what occurs this summer. The cineplex will show much simulated gunplay, but the gunplay will appear in particularly good movies that are also "must-see" blockbusters.
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6:30PM on 02/24/2013
I don't think the current gun debate has anything to do with low box office numbers for action movies. Yes some are blaming video games and movies but those tactics don't work. People are just sick and tired(here domestically anyway) of endless franchises. While overseas they can't get enough of them.
I don't think the current gun debate has anything to do with low box office numbers for action movies. Yes some are blaming video games and movies but those tactics don't work. People are just sick and tired(here domestically anyway) of endless franchises. While overseas they can't get enough of them.
10:43AM on 02/25/2013
Or maybe U.S. action flicks just kind of suck compared to the ones from the 70s thru 90s...
Or maybe U.S. action flicks just kind of suck compared to the ones from the 70s thru 90s...
3:23PM on 02/24/2013
Glad to see Silver Linings Playbook still going strong. One of the best and one of my favorites films of the year. Hopefully it does well tonight at the Oscars. How great would it be to see Jennifer Lawrence win or see DeNiro win another award.
Glad to see Silver Linings Playbook still going strong. One of the best and one of my favorites films of the year. Hopefully it does well tonight at the Oscars. How great would it be to see Jennifer Lawrence win or see DeNiro win another award.
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3:39PM on 02/24/2013
I would also LOVE to see Cooper upset for Best Actor, but I think Day-Lewis has the award won.
I would also LOVE to see Cooper upset for Best Actor, but I think Day-Lewis has the award won.
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