2012 started with a huge surprise courtesy of The Devil Inside, a little found-footage paranormal horror. It didn’t just beat Mission: Impossible 4(in its 4th weekend to be fair), it more than doubled even the most optimistic box office predictions and achieved the 3rd highest January opening weekend ever, behind only Cloverfield and the re-release of Star Wars (1997).
So how does a little movie, supposedly costing $1 million to make, go about grossing $33.7 million in its opening weekend? Probably a successful marketing campaign from Paramount, one that managed to escape me. Ultimately the proof is in the pudding, box office numbers in our case and The Devil Inside opened higher than past January releases like The Green Hornet (3D), The Book of Eli, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Gran Torino. But unlike those, The Devil Inside received an all-time low F CinemaScore from viewers, so expect really pour legs leading to probably no more than $65 million at the end of its run.
In 2nd place we have another strong weekend from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol with $19.8 million for a sturdy $169.5 million total after 24 days. Now I’m positive Tom Cruise’s last effort will not only finish above $200 million but might also challenge Mission: Impossible 2‘s $215.4 million and claim the title of highest grosser in the series, unadjusted for inflation obviously (it would need over $325 million to beat Mission: Impossible – 1996).
3rd place is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and speaking of Sherlock, I finally got around to checking the BBC mini-series and wow, impressed so far. Back to the main topic, A Game of Shadows made $13.6 million and so far $157 million in 24 days. Sherlock Holmes was at $180 million after 24 days so the newer one is slowly catching up. However it’s slower than it should and because of that I can’t see it finishing above $190 million in North America. Not a bad total but I was expecting a bit more.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was 4th with $11.3 million and $76.9 million in 19 days, and I still haven’t seen it. Also a bit underwhelming but as it was reported already, Sony are moving forward with The Girl who Played with Fire, a strange move since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo barely started rolling internationally so there’s no way of knowing how big it might end up.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked made $9.5 million for 5th place and $111.5 million so far. In 6th place War Horse grossed $8.6 million and $56.9 million in 15 days. Disney say this cost only $66 million but I’ve seen War Horse and it definitely looks a lot more expensive. It won’t win anything other than technical awards (the cinematography is breathtaking) but that doesn’t mean it was a bad flick, just not as great as I was hoping it would be. It’s a good Spielberg movie that might finish its run with $75-80 million.
We Bought a Zoo was 7th with $8.3 million for $56.4 million while The Adventures of Tintin was 8th with $6.7 million and a $62 million total for this second Steven Spielberg-directed film. Next is newly expanded Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy in 9th thanks to $5.4 million from 809 theaters (up from 57 the week before). The British spy film has made $10.1 million so far. Rounding up the top 10 is The Darkest Hour with $3.1 million for $18.7 million making it the box office flop of the holiday season. Good thing it only cost $30 million.