The domestic box office continued to see lackluster results on Friday as new action-thriller Snitch narrowly beat holdover comedy Identity Thief with $4.14 million.
Snitch, headlining Dwayne Johnson, is the latest in a glut of action pics. From Lionsgate, the movie may have a hard time beating Identity Thief for the weekend itself. Box office observers expect Snitch to gross $11.5 million, compared to $13.4 million for University's Identity Thief.
Starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, Identity Thief grossed $4.06 million on its third Friday for a stellar cume of roughly $83 million.
Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, Snitch stars Johnson as a father who agrees to become an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel after his son is wrongly charged with drug distribution. The action-thriller, rated PG-13, also stars Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt, Barry Pepper and Jon Bernthal.
Moviegoers gave Snitch a B CinemaScore.
Nicholas Sparks romantic drama Safe Haven, from Relativity Media, came in No. 3 on its second Friday, grossing roughly $3.5 million for a cume of $41 million.
Micro-budgeted horror pic Dark Skies, the weekend's other new entry, placed No. 4 with $3.1 million and is projecting a $10 million weekend.
Dimension Films is releasing the film, about a couple trying to save their children from an alien presence. Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton and Dakota Goyo star, with Jason Blum, Couper Samuelson and Jeannette Brill producing. Scott Stewart wrote and directed Dark Skies, which cost $3.5 million.
Bruce Willis action pic A Good Day to Die Hard tumbled 61 percent on its second Friday, falling to No. 5 with $2.8 million for an eight-day domestic total of $44.6 million.
Traffic at the multiplex and art house will slow considerably on Sunday because of the Academy Awards ceremony. But revenues will be off more than usual for Oscar weekend, and will trail last year by 25 percent, when Act of Valor debuted to $24.5 million.