‘Identity Thief’ regains top of N. America box office

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This undated publicity file image released by Universal Pictures shows Jason Bateman, left, and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from “Identity Thief,” which topped the box office in the United States and Canada in its third week after slipping off the top spot, according to early figures on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. AP PHOTO/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

LOS ANGELES—In a surprising bounce back, the comedy “Identity Thief” topped the box office in the United States and Canada in its third week after slipping off the top spot, early figures showed Sunday.

The comedy, starring Jason Bateman from the TV series “Arrested Development” and “Bridesmaids” star Melissa McCarthy, pulled in $14 million from Friday to Sunday, according to tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.

“Identity Thief,” which opened in the number one spot three weeks ago, took the top position over the action film “Snitch” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which opened in second place and pulled in $13 million.

Third was the animated kids’ movie “Escape from Planet Earth,” which earned $11 million, followed by the romantic drama “Safe Haven” by Sweden’s Lasse Hallstrom, which made $10.6 million.

The fifth spot, plummeting from the top of the list last week, was “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the latest in the “Die Hard” action series with Bruce Willis reprising his role as supercop John McClane. The movie, panned by reviewers, hauled in $10 million.

Opening in sixth place was the science fiction horror movie “Dark Skies” with $8.8 million, followed by the Oscar-nominated romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence of “Hunger Games” fame, with $6 million. “Silver Linings” has pulled in more than $107 million since it opened 15 weeks ago.

In eighth place was the romantic zombie comedy “Warm Bodies,” inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” which earned $4.7 million, and director Steven Soderbergh’s thriller “Side Effects,” starring Jude Law and Rooney Mara, with $3.5 million.

Rounding off the top ten was “Beautiful Creatures,” a supernatural fantasy flick featuring British Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, which earned $3.4 million in its second week on the big screen.

Final figures are due out on Monday.

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