Weekend Box Office: Dec. 16-18th, 2011

1. Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows – $39,637,079

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $23,244,744

3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $12,785,204

4. New Year’s Eve – $7,310,413

5. The Sitter – $4,608,681

6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 – $4,197,893

7. Hugo – $3,707,848

8. Arthur Christmas – $3,554,286

9. The Muppets – $3,520,926

10. Young Adult – $3,403,159

Another poor weekend at the box office. The two big openers, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks underperformed like crazy. Holmes was down to $39.6 million when the first film took in $62.3 million on its opening weekend back in 2009. Those who try and say that the first had a better start due to the closer to Christmas release can zip it because TRON: Legacy opened at the same time last year and still managed to bring in $44 million. I bet 3D and IMAX inflation had a hand in that. Success or not Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows basically copied the marketing from the first film but promised even more action and explosions this time around. Anthony had a chance to check it out and he wasn’t that pleased with it. Check out his review here.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked opened in number two with $23 million. That marks the lowest opening yet for a Chipmunks movie. The first opened with $44.3 million and The Squeakquel brought in $48.9 million. I guess people just don’t want to see unneeded sequels.

The most impressive release of the week is Brad Bird‘s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The film only opened at 425 locations and still managed to bring in $12.7 million bucks. Some can argue the IMAX boost and others will mention the attached prologue for The Dark Knight Rises, but I say it’s a mix of both plus strong positive word. The trailers are hitting the right notes and M:I – GP is shaping up to be the most entertaining movie of the winter.

Everything else held over respectfully with New Year’s Eve and The Sitter taking normal dips. Jason Reitman‘s Young Adult expanded onto 978 screens yet it still barely could crack the top 10. It’s probably going to do similar business to Thank You for Smoking and slowly roll out hoping to get some Oscar buzz.

Tonight/tomorrow starts the box office rush with David Fincher‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) coming out followed by The Adventures of Tintin and Mission: Impossible going wide.

We Bought a Zoo, War Horse and The Darkest Hour all follow on Christmas.

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