After three consecutive weekends won by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, it’s finally time to welcome a new leader. Actually, new is not the correct word here. The movie in question is Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the 4th entry in the long-running series of spy films starring Tom Cruise.
A most impressive debut in China ($13.5 million) sent Ghost Protocol back to the top with $25.2 million from 56 countries. The latest Ethan Hunt adventure has now amassed $377.5 million internationally for a worldwide total of $580.3 million, a new record for the Mission: Impossible franchise, besting the $546.4 million of Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) sometime last week. It should ultimately pass Fast Five ($626.1M) and become the 6th highest grossing movie of 2011 worldwide.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was obviously 2nd and not so obviously with $18.1 million ($18.3 million a week before). That’s a hefty $294 million internationally and $476.3 million worldwide. It’s still on track to beat the $524 million made by Sherlock Holmes and it could go a good couple of millions above since it has a Japan opening in March (the original made $22.5 million over there).
Underworld Awakening is a strong 3rd with $16 million and $40.3 million internationally so far. That means the vampire-werewolf flick (that’s not Twilight) is at $86.2 million worldwide. It will pass both the original Underworld ($95.7 million) and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ($91.4 million) sometime this week while Underworld: Evolution ($111.3 million) will fall next week. Underworld Awakening is on track to finish above $160 million worldwide, a good number that should cover the $70 million budget and might even green light a 5th entry.
The Descendants expanded to a few new countries last weekend so it made $15.9 million, 4th place and $27.8 million internationally for $86.9 million worldwide. The recently 5-time Oscar nominated flick should become director Alexander Payne’s highest grossing film to date. In the past he’s done successful movies like Sideways ($109.7 million) and About Schmidt ($105.8 million).
Rounding up the top 5 is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with $11.2 million for $87.1 million internationally and $185.4 million worldwide. Moving forward with the sequel might have looked like a risky decision a few weeks ago but now it’s starting to make sense.
Finally Puss in Boots added $7.5 million for $359.7 million internationally and passed the fabled $500 million mark with $506.8 million worldwide making it the 8th highest grosser for DreamWorks Animation. Made for just $130 million (compared to the animation norm of $150-200 million), Puss in Boots turned out to be a spectacular success for DreamWorks and we might just see a sequel sometime in the future.