If it feels like the off season for cinema, you’re not wrong. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems in the rough. This week we get the latest/possibly last movie from Steven Soderbergh, but then also Identity Thief. Which should win the weekend.

The teaming of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy and the reteaming of Bateman with his Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon should have been an easy win. And it will open in the top slot, and if it was cheap enough it will make some money. But this February release is no accident from all accounts, and the film – which seems to want to merge Midnight Run and Planes, Trains and Automobiles – just doesn’t work. But name recognition, and little else to see makes it a winner for its release date. Recently The Heat, which stars Sandra Bullock and McCarthy got moved to the summer. I think it’s partly because they may have a hit movie on their hands, but also to distance themselves from Thief.

Star power seems to be getting Thief over the top, which is why it’s odd that Side Effects hasn’t been putting Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara out there harder. It comes from Open Road films (who are a minor studio), so both actors could be working on other projects and unwilling to go full bore with publicity, which makes this feels like an off release. Mostly it’s the director they’ve put out there, but as this is supposedly his last film for a while, those interviews are going to lose focus, on top of having a film with heavy spoilers. Perhaps Tatum didn’t want to be overexposed, as much like last year he’s got four movies coming out this year.

Top Gun hits 3D and Imax screens this weekend. If you’re into that. After the success of some of the Disney reissues, I think studios thought there might be some money in these conversions, but that thought seems to have passed.

So this weekend, it’s:

  1. Identity Thief - $16.8 Million
  2. Warm Bodies – $12 Million
  3. Side Effects – $10 Million
  4. Silver Linings Playbook – $6.5 Million
  5. Zero Dark Thirty – $4.8 Million

Identity Thief could go higher, but with the snow on the East coast, this looks to be a weak weekend.

What are you going to watch this weekend?