It’s safe to say at this point that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was by far the most popular movie of the holiday season and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon. Runner-ups Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked also made a good impression on the last weekend of the year after some very disappointing openings just two weeks ago.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol grossed $29.4 million over the December 30th and January 1st period, finishing on top a second time in a row. The movie has been leading the North American box office since December 21st and with not much in the way of competition in the next two weeks, Ghost Protocol has a chance to challenge The Help‘s 25 day record, the highest any movie has gotten since The Sixth Sense (35 days). Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is at $141.2 million after 18 days, mighty impressive and well on its way to a $200+ million final tally.
Not as impressive was Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with $20.8 million, a 3% increase over Christmas weekend. That brings the movie at $136.9 million, $29.4 million down compared to the original at the same point in its run. Since Sherlock Holmes made $209 million in 2009, A Game of Shadows should at the very least finish with $180 million in North America.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is more or less a wreck compared to the previous movies in the series and not even a 30.1% increase was enough to save face here. With $16.3 million over the weekend, Chipwrecked stands at $97.8 million after 18 days and should stop around $140 million, lower than $217.3 million and the $219.6 million made by past Chipmunks adventures.
In 4th place we have a movie I actually managed to forget when making the box office forecast for the weekend, that movie is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I know, shame on me but, while the movie seems to be great (haven’t had the chance to check it out yet) its box office performance is nothing to write home about. $14.8 million over the weekend and $60 million after 13 days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a disaster or anything but I was expecting slightly more from it at this point. Alas, Sony seem to be happy with it and so should we since they will be moving forward with the second part.
Also underwhelming is War Horse with $14.4 million and $44.9 million in 9 days. Good thing this Steven Spielberg epic didn’t cost Disney all that much, coming in at $66 million, or so they say. Either way it won’t go much higher than $70-75 million.
Cameron Crowe has a thing for not making financially successful movies when not casting Tom Cruise in a role so I’m surprised to say that We Bought a Zoo is different. It has Matt Damon instead and made $13.2 million, good for 6th place and $46 million after 11 days. That actually makes it the 3rd highest grossing Cameron Crowe directed movie and from the looks of it, I doubt it will stop before $70 million. The budget for this flick is supposed to be around $50 million so with international box office it should make that back.
Speaking of international box office, in 7th place we have The Adventures of Tintin, already a hit around the world where it started rolling out way back in October. This is another Steven Spielberg directed film and has made $11.4 million over the weekend and $53.1 million in 14 days. Since it already doubled its budget internationally, everything The Adventures of Tintin makes in the states could be considered a bonus (but not really because both Sony and Paramount handle distribution around the world).
Overall box office was down from the last New Year weekend and it seems 2011 as a whole is down in both attendance and gross over 2010. Thanks to some very high profile movies coming out in the upcoming year Hollywood aims to change that picture in 2012, but can they really?