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By Bill Wine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)Identity Thief made off with a convincing first-place finish at the box office over the weekend.

The comedy pairing Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy earned an estimated $37 million on its debut weekend.

That dropped last weekend’s leader, Warm Bodies, to second place.  It took in an additional $11 million.

In third place was the weekend’s other new mainstream attraction, Side Effects, the pharmaceutical suspense thriller from director Steven Soderbergh, which stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, and Jude Law. It debuted at $10 million.

Rounding out the top five were holdovers Silver Linings Playbook and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Overall, to some degree because of the blizzard and despite Identity Thief’s strong opening, it was a dismal box-office weekend, with industry-wide totals well below those of a year ago.

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