Friday Report: Holiday Sequels Continue to Dominate

by Ray Subers
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

December 31, 2011

For the third Friday in a row, three sequels claimed the Top Three spots at the box office. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol extended its impressive run with another first place finish, while Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked continued to draw large holiday crowds. The big loser on Friday actually looks to be Steven Spielberg, with his War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.

The fourth Mission: Impossible movie added an estimated $10.7 million on Friday for a 15-day total of $113.6 million. Paramount is estimating a four-day weekend of $40 million, which means the movie will pass Mission: Impossible III's $134 million total by Monday.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows earned an estimated $7.65 million, which should translate to around $27 million for the Friday-Monday holiday weekend. It's still the top-grossing December 2011 release with $117.7 million, though that honor will almost certainly transfer to Mission: Impossible by Monday.

The latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie improved 31 percent to $7.1 million for a total of $83.5 million. It should finish the weekend with around $24 million, which would push its total past the $100 million mark.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remained tops among Christmas weekend releases with an estimated $5.35 million on Friday. Through 10 days, the thriller remake has grossed $46.2 million, and it could wind up with close to $20 million for the four-day frame.

We Bought a Zoo added $4.9 million, which was up a massive 64 percent from its opening day tally last Friday. That seems to indicate that there's strong word-of-mouth behind the Cameron Crowe-Matt Damon drama, which has now made $32.4 million through eight days in theaters.

War Horse grossed $4.69 million on Friday for a six-day total of $30.7 million. Those are fine numbers, but it is a little bit discouraging following strong third place finishes on Sunday and Monday. The Adventures of Tintin, meanwhile, added $4.4 million for a 10-day total of $40.2 million. Paramount is estimating a four-day weekend around $15.5 million.

Playing at just four locations, The Iron Lady impressed on Friday with an estimated $76,300 debut. The Weinstein Company will surely attempt to leverage Oscar buzz for Meryl Streep's interpretation of Margaret Thatcher in to solid grosses throughout January and February.

Related Stories:
Weekend Forecast: 'M:I-4' to Lead Final Weekend of 2011

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, December 30, 2011

12/10 'Coco' Threepeats, 'Disaster Artist' Soars and WB Tops $2 Billion
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11/19 'Justice League' Stumbles in Domestic Debut as 'Wonder' Delivers Wondrous Results
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WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Coco' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Coco' #1
DAILY: Thursday 12/7 (50 tracked)
WEEKLY: 'Coco' Tops the Week with $34.63m
DAILY: Wednesday, 12/6 (41 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 12/5 (42 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 12/4 (42 tracked)