Box Office Preview: Dwayne Johnson's 'Snitch' Takes on 'Identity Thief' for No. 1

Dwayne Johnson, left, in "Snitch."
Dwayne Johnson, left, in "Snitch."
 Summit Entertainment

More action invades the domestic box office this weekend as Dwayne Johnson's Snitch opens, hoping to beat Melissa McCarthy's Identity Thief for the top spot on the chart.

Summit Entertainment is projecting a $10 million to $12 million opening for Snitch, but the pic could easily overperform if there is a strong African-American and Hispanic turnout.

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.

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Johnson has become a strong box-office draw and has two upcoming movies after Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Pain & Gain.

In marketing Snitch, Summit targeted Johnson's core fans as well as action followers via a targeted media buy that included football, basketball, NASCAR and wrestling.

From Universal and also starring Jason Bateman, Identity Thief continues to overperform as it heads into its third weekend. The comedy nearly beat A Good to Day to Die Hard last weekend and should gross $11 million to $12 million this weekend. Identity Thief's domestic gross through Wednesday was $78.1 million.

Die Hard, with Bruce Willis reprising the role of John McClane, will remain in the upper reaches of the chart as well. The 20th Century film's domestic gross through Wednesday as $40.5 million.

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New horror entry Dark Skies is expected to open in the $8 million to $9 million range. 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.

Traffic at the multiplex and art house will slow considerably on Sunday because of the Academy Awards ceremony, although top nominees could enjoy a final burst on Friday and Saturday as moviegoers rush to catch up on films still playing.

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