It’s no surprise that the 2013 box office has been cold in the first few weeks of the new year. That tends to be the case in January, when R-rated horror flicks and long-on-the-shelf action stinkers take up multiplex screens. But this weekend, the film industry is set to get even chillier due to a massive snowstorm that’s expected to bring much of the Northeast to a standstill.
Thus, this weekend’s two new releases, Identity Thief and Side Effects (which, almost unbelievably, are already the 10th and 11th R-rated wide releases of the year), are expected to perform moderately over their first three days in theaters. Here’s how the box office might shake out:
1. Identity Thief – $21 million
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy teamed up for Universal’s $35 million comedy, which will easily top the chart over the Friday-to-Sunday period. Bateman has scored comedic hits with ensemble films like Horrible Bosses ($117.5 million) and Couples Retreat ($109.2 million), but he’s proven unreliable as a main selling point in films like 2011′s The Change Up, which opened with $13.5 million on the way to a $37.5 million total. McCarthy isn’t a tested box office lead, but she became the breakout star of Bridesmaids, and audiences may be curious to see her first leading role on the silver screen. READ FULL STORY »