Naming the top duo at the box office at the end of 2012 was easy. "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises," and "The Hunger Games" topped the charts at the end of the year, gaining fans and selling millions of tickets and DVDs along the way. The beginning of 2013 got off to a rocky start with films rising to the top of the box office before dropping with a thud. Thanks to the hit comedy "Identity Thief," the hottest duo right now is Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.
The film stars Bateman as Sandy Bigelow Patterson, a man who discovers that someone stole his identity. Though his wife Trish (Amanda Peet, "The Whole Nine Yards") encourages him to let the matter go and allow the authorities to deal with the problem, he decides to tackle it head on and stop the thief in his tracks. He gets a little surprise when he discovers Diana (Melissa McCarthy) is the one who took over his life. Though the film takes a little while to get going, when McCarthy and Bateman meet on-screen, it's comedic gold.
Bateman is no stranger to comedy. Though he launched his career as a child actor on the television shows "Silver Spoons," "Little House on the Prairie," and "The Hogan Family," he later moved to film work. Though his career floundered a little along the way, he bounced back in a big way with the hit television series "Arrested Development."
The series starred Bateman as Michael Bluth, a man who must deal with his dysfunctional family after his father lands in prison. After winning a Golden Globe for his performance, he watched as his career skyrocketed. "Arrested Development" was a hit among critics and fans alike, but FOX decided to cancel the show, citing low ratings. The series won several awards the year FOX canceled the show, but Bateman decided to take a break from acting.
Bateman had trouble finding quality roles, and he contemplated leaving acting behind to run a coffee shop. Jennifer Garner contacted him, offering a role in her new film "Juno." Bateman found his career on the upswing again, and he landed roles in "Couples Retreat," "Paul," "Horrible Bosses," and "The Change-Up." Netflix, a video streaming and rental company, purchased the rights to "Arrested Development," and the entire cast reunited for a new film and television series based on the original FOX show.
Before working on the new version of "Arrested Development," Bateman began work on "Identity Thief" with Melissa McCarthy. McCarthy, who previously worked as a standup comic, appeared in a few television shows and films before landing her breakout role on the "Gilmore Girls" series. Following the end of that series, she appeared in films like "The Back-Up Plan" and "Life as We Know It." She also took on the role of Molly in the CBS show "Mike & Molly."
"Mike & Molly" follows Molly and Mike, a couple who meets at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love. The show often focuses on the often humorous struggles that Molly faces as an overweight woman. While on hiatus from the show, McCarthy filmed "Bridesmaids," which became her biggest hit to date. Written by "Saturday Night Live" alum Kristen Wiig, the film tells the story of a group of women who come together as bridesmaids at a friend's wedding.
"Bridesmaids" grossed more than $160 million in the United States, and Wiig received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay. Reviewers and critics focused on McCarthy's role as Megan, who serves as the comedic relief in the film. Whether she tries to seduce a potential Air Marshal or she deals with a bout of food poisoning, she manages to keep fans laughing. McCarthy did such a great job in the film that she landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Though she didn't win for that role, she did land Golden Globe and Emmy wins for her work on "Mike & Molly."
The casting agent who decided to pair McCarthy with Bateman clearly knew what he or she was doing. The comedic chemistry between the two will keep fans entertained from the beginning of the film to the last scenes. Almost from the moment the trailer started running, film-goers were excited about the on-screen duo. The film grossed more than $37 million in its opening weekend in domestic and foreign markets, making back its budget in just three days. Despite some poor reviews, the film has fans hoping that "Identity Thief" is just the beginning of a long-standing on-screen relationship between Bateman and McCarthy.