This weekend, critical darlings will battle for Oscar gold while the Rock, Melissa McCarthy and a bunch of aliens scramble for box-office cash. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's action movie "Snitch" and the sci-fi horror flick "Dark Skies" are the only major new releases, leaving a potential opening for "Identify Thief" to steal back the throne.
"Snitch" is based on a true story about a father who infiltrates a drug cartel to save his son, who was set up, from jail. It sees the actor/wrestler teaming up with stuntman-turned-director Ric Roman Waugh. As a stuntman, one of the movies Waugh worked on was "They Live," the camp action classic from the '80s that starred another pro wrestler, Roddy Piper.
Johnson's "Fast Five" made $626 million worldwide, but industry analysts predict "Snitch" will do business more comparable to his 2010 flick "Faster," which opened with less than $9 million. Some estimates were as high as $12 million, thanks in part to its PG-13 rating.
Action heroes have seen a number of box-office bombs in 2013, with flicks from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone debuting with some of the lowest numbers of the year thus far. "A Good Day to Die Hard," with Bruce Willis back as John McLane, was the exception to the rule last week, but was stung by bad reviews.
Poor reviews didn't stop "Bridesmaids" alum Melissa McCarthy from succeeding in her first starring role (opposite Jason Bateman) with "Identity Thief." With many movie lovers at home watching the Oscars on Sunday, "Identity Thief" could take back the box-office crown during its third weekend in release. Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock told MTV News the comedy may pull in as much as $13.5 million.
While horror flicks are off to a great start this year, alien-phobic "Dark Skies" isn't likely to enjoy a #1 debut like "Texas Chainsaw 3D" and "Mama." Box-office prognosticators are putting the Scott Stewart-directed movie's opening around $10 million.