Weekend Report: No Stopping 'M:I-4' Over New Year's
With 2011 coming to an end this weekend, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol once again claimed the top spot at the box office. Not far behind were fellow sequels Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, followed by a surging War Horse and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Top 12 earned $139.6 million, which is slightly down from the same frame last year ($148.6 million) and seven percent up on 2005 (the last time New Year's fell on a Sunday).

The fourth Mission: Impossible movie added $38.2 million for the four-day weekend, which brought its total to $141.2 million through Monday. That exceeds Mission: Impossible III's $134 million total, and the movie now seems poised to at least come close to passing the original Mission: Impossible's $181 million. Additionally, the movie passed the latest Sherlock Holmes movie on Sunday to become December 2011's top-grossing movie.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows grossed $26.9 million from Friday to Monday. With the help of holiday grosses, it's been closing the gap with the original Sherlock Holmes, though its $136.9 million total through Monday still trails the first installment by just under $30 million.

Chipwrecked leaped 70 percent to $21.5 million for a total of $97.8 million. It should pass $100 million on Tuesday or Wednesday, which is a minor consolation prize considering the first Alvin was already at over $140 million through its third weekend.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took fourth place for the four-day weekend with $19.2 million. So far, the David Fincher-directed remake has made just under $60 million.

After languishing in sixth and seventh place from Tuesday through Friday, War Horse received a boost on Saturday and Sunday and finished the four-day weekend in fifth place with $18.1 million. Through nine days in theaters, the Steven Spielberg WWI drama has earned $44.1 million, and it's quickly closing in on the final total of Spielberg's Munich ($47.4 million).

We Bought a Zoo leaped an impressive 81 percent from its opening weekend and snagged $17 million for the four-day frame. Its 41.4 percent three-day improvement was second-best second weekend bump ever for a movie in over 3,000 theaters. The Cameron Crowe-directed drama is likely benefiting from strong word-of-mouth among family audiences, and it will be interesting to see if that can keep the movie going even after holiday activities wrap up this week. Through 11 days in theaters, We Bought a Zoo has made $44.5 million.

The Adventures of Tintin doesn't appear to be catching on quite as well as We Bought a Zoo: the Spielberg-directed animated adventure improved 58 percent to $15.4 million. After 13 days in U.S. theaters, and including earlier grosses from Quebec, Tintin has earned $51.4 million.

Unsurprisingly, New Year's Eve received a big boost coinciding with the arrival of the titular holiday. The movie more-than-doubled it's weekend gross to $7.6 million; unfortunately, it's likely to fall hard in the coming weeks, and with $47.3 million in the bank it has no chance of coming anywhere close to predecessor Valentine's Day's $110.5 million.

Last Weekend

'M:I-4' Sizzles Over Solid Christmas Weekend

This Timeframe in Past Years:

• 2010 - 'Fockers' Frowned Upon, 'Grit' Glows Over New Year's

• 2009 - 'Avatar' Rocks New Year's

• 2007 - 'Treasure,' 'Juno' Jumpin' in New Year

• 2006 - 'Museum' Exhibits Holiday Clout

• 2005 - 'Chronicles' Conk Out 'Kong' on New Year's

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Weekend Box Office Results

2011 Calendar Grosses

All-Time Domestic