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Weekend Box-Office: January 6-8, 2012

The Devil Inside frightens off Tom Cruise

Shocker! The only new release of the weekend, the low-budget demonic possession faux documentary THE DEVIL INSIDE, scared up more than twice of what was expected: a whopping $34.5 million, one of the biggest January openings ever! Only CLOVERFIELD and the 1997 reissue of STAR WARS scored more bucks.

It was obviously more due to curiosity and the hopes of cheap thrills than the movie's quality, however -- the horror genre tends to be critic-proof, but there were reports of audiences actually booing the movie and giving it an 'F' Cinemascore grade when departing. Either way, it was a considerable return on Paramount's meager investment (before they coughed up the multiple millions for prints and marketing, naturally).

But don't feel too bad for Tom, as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL still managed to collect another $20M despite early January usually being really slow for the box office. The action-espionage movie has gathered $170M so far, plus another $288M overseas. Seems like Brad Bird was the right choice to inject some life in the M:I franchise, so you can bet that Paramount and Cruise are itching to get him back behind the camera for another.

Four weeks into its run, SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS also still has momentum, with another $14.1M added to its total. It's still a good ways from the first movie's $209M finish, but it has also brought in $177M internationally to add to its $157M domestic total. Think we'll see Robert Downey Jr. as the famed sleuth again? 

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is also holding very well, with Lisbeth Salander beating down the animal competitors of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED, WAR HORSE and WE BOUGHT A ZOO. And the acclaimed Cold War drama TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY made an impression when it finally expanded from limited release to 800+ screens, bringing in $5.7M for ninth place.

Next weekend will probably put Satan in the corner -- besides the potentially poisonous word-of-mouth, THE DEVIL INSIDE will have to deal with Disney's 3D reissue of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the Mark Wahlberg action flick CONTRABAND, the musical comedy JOYFUL NOISE, and the expansion of awards-buzzed WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and THE IRON LADY.

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol $20.5 M $170.2 M
2. The Devil Inside $34.5 M
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3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $14.1 M $157.4 M
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $11.4 M $76.8 M
5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked $9.5 M $112 M
6. War Horse $8.6 M $56.8 M
7. We Bought a Zoo $8.4 M $56.5 M
8. The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn $6.6 M $61.9 M
9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy $5.7 M $10.4 M
10. New Year's Eve $3.2 M $52 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: THR

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