It’s no secret that box office has been down lately but things are about to change this weekend with the release of three major sequels, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX and select theaters.
Sherlock Holmes faced off against Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel back in 2009 and unfortunately for mankind the Squeakquel won ($219.6 million versus $209 million). Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has come for payback and should have no problems taking this weekend. Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law again as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, A Game of Shadows aims to match the $62.3 million opening of the original. A year ago I would have predicted at the very least $70 million for this sequel, today, after so many disappointing follow-ups I’m going to downgrade Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows to $65 million.
Next up should be Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the third entry in the ridiculously popular singing chipmunks series based on the animated characters created for a Christmas song. Previously Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) opened with $44.3 million and went on to gross $217.3 million. The sequel opened with $48.8 million and finished with $219.6 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked should open with $40 million or so and finish a good deal below the previous films. The reason for that is simple, family sequels have been down in 2011 and third entries usually make less money. But I also could be wrong.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opens today in 425 theaters, most of which are IMAX. Making his live-action debut with this film is the famous Pixar director Brad Bird. Now this guy made some of my favorite animated movies in the past, namely The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille. So Ghost Protocol being my most anticipated movie in quite some time is no surprise. That being said this is the 4th entry in the Mission: Impossible series and once again stars Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt. Now Mission: Impossible 3, while my favorite of the bunch, was somewhat of a box office disappointment with just $134 million in North America, significantly lower compared to the $180.9 million made by the original in 1998 or the $215.4 million of Mission: Impossible 2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol might be headed for $40 million next weekend but for now it will have to settle with $10 million or so. On a side note, around 40 of the Ghost Protocol IMAX theaters will be showing a 6 minutes long prologue of The Dark Knight Rises (full list of venues here).
New Year’s Eve will be 4th with $7 million for $24 million after 10 days while The Sitter is going to be 5th with $6 million and $19 million in 10 days.
Next week is going to be insane with 5 new wide releases opening from the 21st up to the 25th. We got Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin (already a international hit) and War Horse, David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, We Bought a Zoo and Darkest Hour. Also Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol goes wide thanks to over 3400 theaters.