Identity Thief, which was expected to walk away winners with about $20 million at the weekend box office, astonished forecasters by earning an estimated $36.6 million, unaffected, it would seem, by a little wind and snow in the most populous areas of the U.S. That result was certain to make Melissa McCarthy, already a heavyweight on television as the star of Mike and Molly, an in-demand movie star. (Critics loathed the movie; loved McCarthy.) The storm may even have given a lift to last week's No. 1 film, given its title, Warm Bodies. The Summit Entertainment film dropped just 43.5 percent ‹ an especially modest falloff for a horror flick. Steven Soderberg's Side Effects opened as predicted in third place with $10 million. Two Oscar contenders also made the top ten list, despite the fact that they've been around for a long, long while. The Weinstein Co.'s Silver Linings Playbook, in its 13th weekend, slipped just 10.7 percent from last week, to wind up with $6.9 million, finishing in fourth pace. Warner Bros.' Argo returned to the top ten in eighth place with $2.5 million. And playing on 300 mostly IMAX screens, a 3D version of Paramount's 1986 hit Top Gun landed just outside the top ten with $1.9 million for an average of $6,333 per screen.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Identity Thief, $36.6 million; 2. Warm Bodies, $11.5 million; 3. Side Effects, $10 million; 4. Silver Linings Playbook, $6.9 million; 5. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, $5.8 million; 6. Mama, $4.3 million; 7. Zero Dark Thirty, $4 million; 8. Argo, $2.5 million; 9. Django Unchained, $2.3 million; 10. Bullet to the Head, $2 million.