Like a brassy gal whose lack of self-consciousness only adds to her charm, Identity Thief barreled its way to the No. 1 spot, even as the equally unstoppable force of Nemo buried most of the Northeastern box office. The latest “Melissa McCarthy don’t care!” comedy took in $36.6 million from a humor-starved populace despite the weather, and no doubt as the snow drifts begin to clear, we’ll discover the frozen corpses of even more doomed souls who donned crampons and set out across the tundra to see it—those fearless, modern-day Shackletons who embarked on their own Nimrod Expeditions to discover new stupid people doing new stupid things, all while Jason Bateman looks on with a vaguely pained expression. Fortunately, they did not die horribly in vain: Identity Thief now has one of the best openings ever for an R-rated comedy, which should comfort the many loved ones they left behind.
Speaking of chilly receptions, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects debuted at third place with a disappointing $10 million, making for one of his worst openings ever—even with the license to print box-office receipts that is Channing Tatum. That Soderbergh’s new muse was barely seen in the movie’s purposefully obfuscated marketing campaign probably didn’t help matters; in retrospect, the posters probably should have featured Tatum disrobing under a glorious shower of antidepressants. But since it didn’t, and because subsequently you didn’t go see Side Effects, now Steven Soderbergh is quitting the movie business.
Finally, a couple of nostalgic ’80s relics reimagined with noisy contrivances had very different weekends, as Top Gun 3-D pulled in a decent $1.9 million in its 300 theaters to finally win the Cold War, while Charlie Sheen’s latest public therapy session A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III opened in just two theaters, where it earned a modest $6,000 apiece. For that kind of money, Sheen could have just thrown himself a 90-minute party where he paid much younger porn stars to pretend to find him fascinating and left America out of it.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.