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Weekend Box-Office: December 16-18, 2011

12.18.2011

Sherlock shoots for the top!

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS opened to $40 million this weekend, and while that's a mighty money mountain compared to the tragic box office of recent months, it's still nowhere near the $62.3M that the first movie pulled in on Christmas weekend just two years ago. In fact, my dear Watson, as a point of reference Robert Downey Jr.'s return as the legendary sleuth didn't even defeat TRON LEGACY, a decades-late sequel that opened to $44M over this weekend last year.

Computer-generated yard rodents also felt the sting of hard times (and questionable marketing?), as ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED skittered away with $23.5M, just around half of the other franchise entries (ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS opened to $44M this weekend in 2007, and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL opened with $48.8M over the Christmas 2009 weekend).

The real winner of the weekend was MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL, stealing $13M even though it only opened in IMAX at 425 locations (it goes wide next Wednesday). The fourth Tom Cruise espionage escapade (and the live-action debut of THE INCREDIBLES director Brad Bird) scored a towering $30K per-screen average, thrice that of the SHERLOCK sequel. Granted, the higher IMAX ticket price and the allure of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES footage at a handful of locations contributed to that, but it's still an impressive feat.

On the rest of the list, NEW YEAR'S EVE and THE SITTER dropped about half of their already negligible openings, and the proximity to the holiday didn't give any real boost to the family fare on the chart as HUGO, ARTHUR CHRISTMAS and THE MUPPETS occupy the last three slots. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART 1) is still hanging in there, although at this rate it may not match the domestic totals of the last two pics in the series (NEW MOON topped at $296M and ECLIPSE hit $300M).

YOUNG ADULT went wide onto almost a thousand screens, but only had a slight return with $3.6M for seventh place (THE DESCENDANTS, down in 11th place, had a higher per-screen average in its fifth week of release). Speaking of outside the chart, award-buzzed limited releases like TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, A DANGEROUS METHOD and THE ARTIST are doing strong per-screen business on just a few screens, but MY WEEK WITH MARILYN and THE DESCENDANTS appear to be losing steam.

Besides the jolly fat man with the big red sack, next week brings a load of movies to accompany your holiday cheer. It's dueling Spielbergs with THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (on Wednesday) and WAR HORSE (on Christmas day), chilly thrills with David Fincher's adaptation of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (Wednesday), animals and Damon with WE BOUGHT A ZOO (Friday), sci-fi terror in Russia with THE DARKEST HOUR (Christmas), plus the expansion of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL (Wednesday), THE ARTIST and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, and limited releases of ALBERT NOBBS, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, and Angelina Jolie's directing debut IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY. Hope you get everything you wanted for Christmas!

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# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $40 M
NEW
2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked $23.5 M
NEW
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol $13 M $13.6 M
4. New Year's Eve $7.4 M $24.8 M
5. The Sitter $4.4 M $17.7 M
6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) $4.3 M $266.4 M
7. Young Adult $3.6 M $4 M
8. Hugo $3.6 M $39 M
9. Arthur Christmas $3.6 M $38.5 M
10. The Muppets $3.4 M $70.9 M

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Source: Box Office Mojo

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11:07AM on 12/19/2011

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Saw Sherlock last night, torturous. I liked the first film, didn't love it by any means, but thought Guy Ritchie did a good job with it. But he's back in overload mode here, with a thousands cuts and blearing clicks inside each mechanism and blast throughout the film that is irritating, not to mention pointless. Whereas the first film there was some sleuthing sprinkled through the whole film, SH2 gives us a thousand one liners from Downey set up by Law's Watson. The story itself, to be
Saw Sherlock last night, torturous. I liked the first film, didn't love it by any means, but thought Guy Ritchie did a good job with it. But he's back in overload mode here, with a thousands cuts and blearing clicks inside each mechanism and blast throughout the film that is irritating, not to mention pointless. Whereas the first film there was some sleuthing sprinkled through the whole film, SH2 gives us a thousand one liners from Downey set up by Law's Watson. The story itself, to be completely honest, I had know idea what was going on, which didn't seem to matter to the filmmakers this time out. They just wanted to crack mediocre jokes and throw in some scarce and flakey action scenes (that Ritchie can't even pull out a good action sequence is ridiculous). By the end of the film we get the Holmes you've come to see, with the back and forth of him and Moriarty, who's plan is so thick that when you hear his explanation at the end it derails the point of his scheme. Hope this is over, SH2 Game Over.
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8:20AM on 12/19/2011
Good for M:I4, it really looks like a lot of fun. Sherlock managed decent numbers but I doubt it will hit the 100 mln mark. There's just too many movies coming out this Christmas. I don't know who picked the slots for them but they probably should be fired. War Horse, Tintin, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, M:I4 and We Bought a Zoo. I realize most of these were trying to squeeze into the Oscar season but it won't do any good for their box-office success. I think M:I4 should have opened wide this
Good for M:I4, it really looks like a lot of fun. Sherlock managed decent numbers but I doubt it will hit the 100 mln mark. There's just too many movies coming out this Christmas. I don't know who picked the slots for them but they probably should be fired. War Horse, Tintin, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, M:I4 and We Bought a Zoo. I realize most of these were trying to squeeze into the Oscar season but it won't do any good for their box-office success. I think M:I4 should have opened wide this weekend, because with the competition it has, and it being Christmas it's not going to make as much as it could have
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11:29PM on 12/18/2011

M:I 4 kicked ass!

Some of the most fun I've had at the movies all year. An endlessly entertaining movie with incredibly well-crafted action scenes and stunts. Go see it.

Oh, yeah. The Dark Knight Rises prologue was fantastic.
Some of the most fun I've had at the movies all year. An endlessly entertaining movie with incredibly well-crafted action scenes and stunts. Go see it.

Oh, yeah. The Dark Knight Rises prologue was fantastic.
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9:38PM on 12/18/2011
WOW M:I4 making 13 mil on IMAX screeens alone is massive & only makes me wanna see this movie even more. I will also be checking out The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, love the swedish versions & I am reading the book as we speak & its a great read.
WOW M:I4 making 13 mil on IMAX screeens alone is massive & only makes me wanna see this movie even more. I will also be checking out The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, love the swedish versions & I am reading the book as we speak & its a great read.
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8:10PM on 12/18/2011
Sherlock Holmes 2 was great. Saw it at a midnight screening and had a blast. The movie was nothing but fun and action and easily passed the original.

And having The Dark Knight Rises trailer come before just made seeing the movie all that much better. The Dark Knight Rises looks epic and maybe has a chance of surpassing The Dark Knight since everything in the trailer made Gotham going to hell with Batman finally having to step up to become the man he is supposed to be, The Dark Knight of
Sherlock Holmes 2 was great. Saw it at a midnight screening and had a blast. The movie was nothing but fun and action and easily passed the original.

And having The Dark Knight Rises trailer come before just made seeing the movie all that much better. The Dark Knight Rises looks epic and maybe has a chance of surpassing The Dark Knight since everything in the trailer made Gotham going to hell with Batman finally having to step up to become the man he is supposed to be, The Dark Knight of Gotham.

I will be seeing Sherlock again this week, but this time with my Dad. The movie will be a success because it will have "legs" in the next few weeks/months.

Glad to see Mission Impossible:GI to a strong start. Movie looks great and can't wait to see it. Plus, good for Tom Cruise to be back at the top.
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2:05AM on 12/19/2011
Did you take your Dad to see Twilight yet? I doubt he shares your taste....at least I hope not.
Did you take your Dad to see Twilight yet? I doubt he shares your taste....at least I hope not.
8:02PM on 12/18/2011
a little surprise Holmes under performed. Oh well, movie was fun.
a little surprise Holmes under performed. Oh well, movie was fun.
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6:18PM on 12/18/2011
I was reading that the prologue was only in about 1/4 of the IMAX screens showing it. For example, I went to Denver to see M:I4. There are five IMAX screens there and none where showing the prologue.
I was reading that the prologue was only in about 1/4 of the IMAX screens showing it. For example, I went to Denver to see M:I4. There are five IMAX screens there and none where showing the prologue.
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6:16PM on 12/18/2011
Good for MIGP. Cruise really needed a hit with his string of flops the past few years, and what better movie than this? It was truer to the MI spirit than any the previous films, plus the action was plentiful, inventive, and nail-biting!

On another note, the TDKR prologue was crazy awesome. I'm really liking Hardy as Bane, even if I couldn't hear half of what he said, which I'm sure will be polished
Good for MIGP. Cruise really needed a hit with his string of flops the past few years, and what better movie than this? It was truer to the MI spirit than any the previous films, plus the action was plentiful, inventive, and nail-biting!

On another note, the TDKR prologue was crazy awesome. I'm really liking Hardy as Bane, even if I couldn't hear half of what he said, which I'm sure will be polished
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6:26PM on 12/18/2011
No offense, but I really don't think 13 million @ third place for and opening block buster is a success or a hit.
No offense, but I really don't think 13 million @ third place for and opening block buster is a success or a hit.
6:30PM on 12/18/2011
Jedly did you even read the article? MI:4 opened on like 400 screens.
Jedly did you even read the article? MI:4 opened on like 400 screens.
6:31PM on 12/18/2011
You have to take into account that it is only a limited showing in IMAX theaters, in only 450+ screens. 13 million may not seem much, but it's a staggering amount in that many theaters. Again, as mentioned, GP will open wide this Wed., which will sure makes it killing there.
You have to take into account that it is only a limited showing in IMAX theaters, in only 450+ screens. 13 million may not seem much, but it's a staggering amount in that many theaters. Again, as mentioned, GP will open wide this Wed., which will sure makes it killing there.
9:04PM on 12/18/2011
What a dumbass...
What a dumbass...
9:39PM on 12/18/2011
lol Jedly = EPIC FAIL!
lol Jedly = EPIC FAIL!
3:08AM on 12/19/2011
hahaha...Jedly ='s busted for not reading the article and keeping up with the rest of the class.
hahaha...Jedly ='s busted for not reading the article and keeping up with the rest of the class.
6:14PM on 12/18/2011
Jack and Jill failed to reach the $100 million mark, Muppets had a better opening than the newest Chipmunks movie, and New Year's Eve flopped. Looks like moviegoers are finally developing some common sense.
Jack and Jill failed to reach the $100 million mark, Muppets had a better opening than the newest Chipmunks movie, and New Year's Eve flopped. Looks like moviegoers are finally developing some common sense.
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6:03PM on 12/18/2011
This is interesting because I had read just earlier how WB was upset because they felt like more people were going to see Mi:I-4 instead of Sherlock Holmes because of TDKR's prologue attached taking money away from Warner.
This is interesting because I had read just earlier how WB was upset because they felt like more people were going to see Mi:I-4 instead of Sherlock Holmes because of TDKR's prologue attached taking money away from Warner.
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