10 February 2013 10:04 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

A weekend standout amid weather closings, "Identity Thief" outdid expectations for a terrific opening. While a number of recent releases and older Oscar contenders held up well (following the depleted Super Bowl weekend), most or all of the Top Ten films are successes. So what's the worry? Try this - the total for the Top 10 was $84 million, up a healthy $18 millon from last weekend. But one year ago, four separate films (three new releases and a "Star Wars" series 3-D reissue) all grossed over $20 million, with two ("The Vow" and "Safe House") over $40. The ten films together grossed $168 million, double this year. What is happening? There is less top new product in the marketplace to feed audience desire. With many of the films in release at lower mid-range budgets with small advertising expenses, and the international market thriving for many, the studios are holding their own even with these paltry totals. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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