February 9, 2013



Melissa McCarthy is a movie star.

OPENINGS:  She co-stars with Jason Bateman (who is also a producer of the movie), but there’s no doubt that IDENTITY THIEF (Universal) is being sold on McCarthy’s back, and the movie is off to a great $11.2M opening day.  Frontloading and East Coast weather may hold it back from a giant weekend, but it’s still headed for profit on a relatively low $35M production cost.  Steven Soderbergh’s self-proclaimed final big-screen film SIDE EFFECTS (Open Road) is less impressive with a $2.8M Friday.  It’s also not an expensive film, but an ultimate $25M at the boxoffice will only pay for its marketing at best, and its tricky genre may not travel well overseas.

HOLDOVERS:  Nothing will even be close to Identity Thief this weekend, but WARM BODIES (Summit/Lionsgate), down probably 55% for the weekend, should be in 2d place.  (Note:  because of Super Bowl Sunday, weekend-to-weekend comparisons will tend to look generally good this weekend, since moviegoing on Sunday will be much higher than last week.)  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein) will lead the Oscar nominees with around $6M, bringing its total to about $90M by Sunday night, and nothing else is likely to even reach $5M this weekend.  Whether or not it wins Best Picture, LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) will be at $175M by Oscar Sunday, a remarkable accomplishment for such a serious film, while it’s not clear whether LES MISERABLES (Universal) will quite reach $150M.

LIMITED RELEASE:  Another very quiet weekend, with $4K per-theatre averages likely for the well-reviewed LORE (Music Box) at 6 and A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III (A24) at 2, the latter also available on VOD.

NEXT WEEKEND:  The combination of the long President’s Day weekend and the placement of Valentine’s Day on Thursday is bringing on a spate of midweek openings, with BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Warners) and SAFE HAVEN (Relativity) going after the romance audience while A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD (20th) concentrates on ticketbuyers who want to watch things blow up.   The low-profile ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (Weinstein) is the first movie to try and fill the gap in family fare since the holiday season.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."