Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy's new comedy Identity Thief has stolen the spotlight to debut atop the U.S. box office chart.

The movie grossed $36.6 million (£22.88 million) to make it the biggest opening of the year (13) so far, despite taking a slight hit due to the blizzards which swept across America's north-east coast over the weekend (08-10Feb13).

Identity Thief was also named among the top five debuts of all time for an original R-rated comedy.

Last week's (03Feb13) number one, zombie romance Warm Bodies, took second place with $11.5 million (£7.19 million), while Steven Soderbergh's psychological thriller Side Effects was another new entry at three with $9.4 million (£5.88 million).

Oscars favourite Silver Linings Playbook and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters round out the top five at four and five, respectively.