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'Identity Thief' steals the top spot at the box office

11:16 AM, Feb 24, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: Bob Mahoney, Universal Pictures)
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USA TODAY - Melissa McCarthy pulled another fast one this weekend as her comedy Identity Thief snatched the top spot at the box office on a traditionally slow Oscar weekend.

McCarthy's film did $14.1 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Hollywood.com.

The movie reclaimed the top spot after dropping to No. 2 last weekend. This weekend's haul brings the $35 million movie's overall gross to $93.7 million since its release Feb. 8.

The debut was enough to fend off the thriller Snitch with Dwayne Johnson. The film took the second spot with $13 million, about $1 million above most analysts' expectations.

The film took some body shots from critics, just 53% of whom gave the movie a thumbs-up, says survey site Rottentomatoes. But 81% of fans liked it, the site says, giving it hope for legs in a sluggish season.

The 3-D cartoon Escape From Planet Earth took third with $11 million, followed by the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven, which was fourth with $10.6 million.

The Bruce Willis action film A Good Day to Die Hard dropped a hefty 60% from its debut, taking $10 million and fifth place.

The only other major newcomer, the supernatural thriller Dark Skies, met most expectations with $8.9 million, good for sixth place.

Final figures are due Monday.

Ticket sales continue their slide. Revenues are down 7% from the same time last year, while attendance is down 8%, according to Hollywood.com.

(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)

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