Friday Report: 'Sherlock,' 'Alvin' Stumble, 'M:I' Dominant in IMAX

by Ray Subers
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

December 17, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked were way off from their predecessors on opening day, which is the latest sign that audiences just aren't lining up for run-of-the-mill sequels. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, on the other hand, leveraged its unique IMAX presentation to score a strong third place start despite only playing in 425 locations. The Top 10 earned an estimated $34.7 million yesterday, which is down from the $41.3 million earned on the same Friday last year.

Sherlock Holmes debuted to $14.7 million yesterday, which is significantly lower than the first Sherlock's $24.6 million opening on Christmas Day 2009. Sherlock was also off from Tron Legacy's $17.5 million on this day last December, and it couldn't hold a candle to I Am Legend ($30.1 million) or Avatar ($26.7 million). Based on these comparisons, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows should finish the weekend with around $40 million.

The latest installment in the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise fared even worse than Sherlock. It earned an estimated $6.8 million yesterday, or just over half the original Alvin's $13.3 million haul on the same weekend in 2007. It was also just a fraction of The Squeakquel's $18.8 million Christmas Day opening in 2009. Alvin will likely end the weekend at around $23 million.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol debuted to $4.11 million at just 425 locations, around 300 of which are IMAX. It's easy to argue that this impressive start is because of the inclusion of The Dark Knight Rises prologue, except it only played at around 10 percent of Ghost Protocol's locations. Because of its unconventional release pattern, it's hard to say exactly how much Mission: Impossible will earn this weekend, though it could get as high as $15 million.

Neither of last weekend's disappointing debuts did much to save face on Friday. New Year's Eve fell 50 percent to an estimated $2.53 million, while The Sitter plummeted 61 percent to $1.44 million. The two movies have earned $19.9 million and $14.8 million, respectively.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 kept up a solid pace by falling 47 percent to $1.3 million. It has so far earned $263.4 million, which trails New Moon's $271.6 million through the same point.

After a solid week in limited release, Young Adult expanded to 986 locations but earned just $1.1 million. That's a fairly unimpressive start considering the talent involved (Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody), but there's obviously still a chance that the movie catches on as the holiday season progresses.

Related Stories:
Forecast: 'Sherlock,' 'Alvin,' 'M:I' Sequels Try to Save Box Office
Weekend Report: Christmas Booms with 'Avatar,' 'Sherlock,' 'Alvin'
'Legend,' 'Chipmunks' Enliven Box Office
'Mission: Impossible III' Doesn't Thrill

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, December 16, 2011

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