Universal’s Identity Thief steals box office with 36 million; DreamWorks previous mistakes and delays could lead to losing up to 500 jobs; The Grinch goes 3D as he returns to steal the holidays again


An unexpected thief steals the goods! I’m Realistic Fish Head! While the box office puts a 36 million reward for Universal’s newest mystery movie, winter storm Nemo took the northeast by surprise! But some movie experts fear that the storm could bury the big rally for the whole year! Gene Scallop puts an APB for the thief on the loose!



Despite Friday’s marketplace being slowed on the East Coast by Winter Storm Nemo, Universal’s Identity Thief was still able to exceed expectations this weekend with a first place estimated debut of $36.6 million. The R-rated comedy starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy proved to be critic proof this weekend, as it registered the 13th largest February debut of all time without adjusting for ticket price inflation. Compared to previous February comedies that launched the frame before Presidents Day Weekend, Identity Thief opened 5 percent stronger than the $34.19 million start of 2007’s Norbit and 20 percent stronger than the $30.51 million start of 2011’s Just Go with It (both of which were rated PG-13). Identity Thief also opened stronger than the $28.30 million debut of 2011’s Horrible Bosses (which featured Bateman) and the $26.25 million debut of 2011’s Bridesmaids (which featured McCarthy). There is no doubt that the paring of McCarthy and Bateman was the key to the film’s opening weekend success.

The opening weekend audience for Identity Thief skewed towards female moviegoers (58 percent) and towards older moviegoers (57 percent of the film’s audience was 30 and older). Identity Thief received a respectable B rating on Cinema Score and registered an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.27 to 1. While that ratio was inflated a bit from Friday’s snow storm deflated grosses, it is a good sign for the film going forward nonetheless.

Warm Bodies held up relatively well for its genre this weekend. Lionsgate’s PG-13 zombie comedy fell a respectable 43 percent in its second weekend to claim second with an estimated $11.5 million. Horror themed films aimed at teenage audiences on Super Bowl weekend are typically quite front-loaded, but Warm Bodies looks like it will be an exception thanks to good word of mouth and the continued limited amount of PG-13 rated fare in the marketplace. Warm Bodies has grossed $36.63 million in ten days, which places it 4 percent ahead of the $35.26 million ten-day take of last year’s The Woman in Black (which fell 52 percent in its second weekend) and 26 percent behind the $47.60 million ten-day take of 2009’s Zombieland (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend).


To recap, Universal’s Identity Thief beats movie predicted estimates in 1st, Warm Bodies rebounds in 2nd, Side Effects measures carefully in 3rd, while Silver Linings Playbook and Hansel and Gretel in 4th and 5th feel a big drag coming in.


In this week’s entertainment report, Jim reported on the rescheduled release of Peabody and Sherman. Now due to this and other missteps, DreamWorks could be on the chopping block! What’s the matter with the studio this time Jim?


Jim Fish (via Reuters) – DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. might cut a maximum of 500 jobs from its 2,000 member workforce following disappointing holiday results and delays to its film lineup, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the situation.

On Tuesday, the studio said in a statement that it would push back the release of its film “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” to March 2014, while “Me & My Shadow,” originally slotted for a 2014 release, would return to development.

“The move of ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ means that we will now release two films in 2013, and we are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly,” DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the statement.

The Journal said that the job cuts were not expected to be limited to the studio’s headquarters in Glendale, California.

DreamWorks Animation could not be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular business hours.

Walt Disney Co, which purchased Pixar Animation Studios in 2006, told Reuters on Wednesday that it had started cost-cutting initiatives that might include layoffs at its studio and other units.

A few Christmases ago, The Grinch first appeared on TV in the 1960’s and seen again in late 1987 and was seen ever since. It was named after the book by the late Dr. Seuss and was remade as a holiday movie as a result. Now, he’s going 3D based on the book as Universal, who made the flick, is returning back to where they remade it before. Is the Grinch back to his grinchy ways April?


April Bluefish (via The Wrap)- Illumination Entertainment and Universal are bringing the Grinch back to the big screen for a new animated feature based on the iconic Dr. Seuss tale, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Music video and commercials director Pete Candeland will direct the film, a 3D feature based on the 1957 book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Candeland has made videos for The Gorillaz and ads for Coca-Cola, but this would be his first full-length feature.

Universal will distribute the movie worldwide while Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri will produce. Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel, will executive produce.

Illumination still needs to find a writer to adapt the story of the embittered, callous creature. It was adapted into a half-hour animated special in 1966 while Universal released a live-action adaptation on the Grinch tale in 2000. That version, directed by Ron Howard, starred Jim Carrey as the titular character.

This marks the second animated “Grinch” — the first was a TV version in 1966 — and the third Dr. Seuss adaptation for Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination. He made “Horton Hears a Who!” back when he ran Fox Animation and made “The Lorax” for Universal.

Meledandri’s Illumination is a valuable partner for the studio, as its first movie for the studio, “Despicable Me,” has already spawned a sequel and a spin-off. Since then, the two have collaborated on a pair of released films, “Hop” and “Lorax.”


We’re at the end at the third batch of fans at the Penguins tally as 84 fans sign in to help Team Skipper to make sure that their mission won’t be their last!


Look out for your favorite movies and TV shows as this year’s Golden Reels will be announced next Sunday, and we’ll bring you the results in our next special awards edition! In the meantime, preschoolers who saw Peter Rabbit’s Christmas Tale, will see his new series this Tuesday! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, Look out for Peter Rabbit!

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