'Identity Thief' swipes No. 1 spot with $36.6M

Universal Pictures said its new comedy might have done even better at the box office if not for the massive snowstorm in the Northeast U.S.

LOS ANGELES — "Identity Thief" has turned out to be the real thing at the box office.

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The comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy debuted at No. 1 with a $36.6 million opening weekend.

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"Identity Thief" opened solidly despite the winter storm that buried much of the Northeast. Distributor Universal Pictures estimates the storm might have choked off as much as 10 percent of the movie's business.

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According to studio estimates Sunday, the previous weekend's top movie, the zombie romance "Warm Bodies," fell to No. 2 with $11.5 million. That raises its domestic total to $36.7 million.

The weekend's other new wide release, Steven Soderbergh's thriller "Side Effects," had a modest opening of $10 million, coming in at No. 3.

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