As folks who have been reading Pajiba for a long time know, our box-office reports typically only use the weekend box-office grosses as a springboard for another discussion. How that works is that, each Sunday, I look over the top films of the weekend and try to see how the movies fit into box-office records, how they compare to other movies released on the same dates, or how the relate to movies of similar genres. If I can find nothing in that respect, I typically move on and try to find something interesting about one of the stars of the weekend’s top grossing films, and see if I can extrapolate a list from there. This week, Identity Thief opened at the top of the box office with a surprisingly strong $36.5 million, far higher than expectations and all the more surprising given the blizzard in the Northeast. As our colleage William Goss noted on Twitter about its performance, “$35 million opening weekend for Identity Thief. Good news: moviegoers ignored Rex Reed’s review. Bad news: they ignored EVERYONE’S reviews.” That about sums up my feelings on the matter, but I really do have a strong affection for both McCarthy and Bateman. Also, I had no idea — although I guess I should have known — that Melissa McCarthy was cousins with that wackadoo Jenny McCarthy, nor did I know that the other 9 sets of celebrities below were cousins.
Jenny McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy
Tom Cruise and “Lost” star William Mapother
“Three and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones and “That 70’s Show” star Danny Masterson
Richard Kind and Barbra Streisand
Randy and Dennis Quaid and Gene Autry
Three-time “Survivor” contestant Jonathan Penner and Jason Alexander
Hilary Duff and Katie Couric
Lenny Kravitz and Al Roker
Bruce Campbell and Billy Campbell
Katherine Moennig and Gwyneth Paltrow
Elsewhere at the box office, Warm Bodies held on to the second spot, falling only 43 percent and grossing another $11.5 million. Steven Soderbergh’s “final” film, Side Effects made a solid showing, too, earning $10 million over the weekend, which was higher than expectations. Meanwhile, Silver Linings Playbook seems to have gotten the biggest boost from all of its Oscar nominations, as its hovered in the top five since nominations were announced. This week, it held on to number four, adding another $6.9 million to bring its total to $90 million. AT number five, in its third week, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters added another $5 million, to bring the $50 million film to $43 million overall, although worldwide its $127 million has made it a success. The only other film of note was the 3D rerelease of Top Gun ahead of its Blu-Ray release, which opened at number 10 with $1.9 million.