Melissa McCarthy, with Jason Bateman, drove 'Identity Thief' to the top of the box office again.(Photo: Bob Mahoney, Universal Pictures)
Melissa McCarthy pulled another fast one this weekend as her comedy Identity Thiefsnatched the top spot at the box office on a traditionally slow Oscar weekend.
McCarthy's film took in $14.1 million, according to studio estimates from box-office trackers Hollywood.com.
The movie reclaimed the top spot after dropping to No. 2 last weekend. This weekend's haul brings the $35 million movie's overall gross to $93.7 million since its release Feb. 8.
The debut was enough to fend off the thriller Snitchwith Dwayne Johnson. Snitch took the second spot with $13 million, about $1 million above most analysts' expectations.
The movie took some body shots from critics, just 53% of whom gave it a thumbs-up, according to the survey site Rottentomatoes.com. But 81% of fans liked it, the site says, which gives it hope for legs in a sluggish season.
The 3-D cartoon Escape from Planet Earth took third with $11 million, followed by the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven, which was fourth with $10.6 million.
The Bruce Willis action film A Good Day to Die Hard dropped a hefty 60% from its debut; it collected $10 million for fifth place.
The only other major newcomer, the supernatural thriller Dark Skies, met most expectations with $8.9 million, good for sixth place.
Final figures are due Monday.
Ticket sales continue their slide. Revenue was down 7% from the same time last year, and attendance is down 8%, according to Hollywood.com.