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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Year, Same Old Results

January 3rd, 2012

2011 ends and 2012 begins, but the new beginnings didn't change. The overall box office rose to $155 million over the weekend, $200 million if you include Monday. This is higher than last weekend, but since Christmas landed on the weekend, this was to be expected. It is troubling that for the three-day portion of the weekend, the box office was 3% lower than last year, which is weaker than expected. 2011 ended with $10.22 billion, which was 3% lower than 2010. Attendance was down 4%, meaning the year had the lowest tickets sales since 1995. We can only hope the next 52 weeks are better than the last 52 weeks were.

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol remained on top of the box office chart with $29.42 million over the three-day weekend and $38.20 million over four, but its three-day total was a little weaker than expected. In fact, it was lower than last weekend, albeit by less than half of one percent. Its running tally is now $141.19 million, which means by the time its theatrical run is over, it will top original expectations. There are only two or three other December releases that have a shot at doing the same, and two of those might need help from Awards Season to get there.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows added $20.88 million / $26.89 million over the weekend, which was also a little lower than expected. So far the film has pulled in $136.91 million in 18 days and while that is more than it cost to make, it is well below original expectations. If the film does well enough internationally, the studio could expand the franchise to a trilogy, but that might be too risky, especially if the overall box office continues to drop.

As expected, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked landed in third place, but it was a little weaker with $16.37 million / $21.49 million over the weekend and $97.85 million after three. It's made enough at this point in its run that it can be considered a financial success, but I think the studio will likely end the franchise at this point.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo manged to grab fourth place with $14.82 million / $19.19 million giving it $59.95 million so far. It could get to $100 million, if its reviews result in major award nominations. It has added a PGA nomination today (more on that later tonight) so that is a good sign. It will still be very, very close, but the possibility of getting to the century mark remains.

War Horse's first full weekend at the box office was on the low end of expectations with $14.42 million / $18.06 million. With $44.09 million after just nine days of release, it is on pace to match original expectations; however, expectations were a little subdued, especially for a Steven Spielberg film.

We Bought a Zoo was one of the few films to do better than expected over the weekend earning $13.24 million / $17.00 million giving it a running tally of $44.49 million. Overall, it is failing to keep up with original expectations.

Speaking of disappointing results for a Steven Spielberg film, The Adventures of Tintin only managed seventh place with $11.44 million / $15.36 million for the weekend giving it a total of $51.40 million after two. There is good news for the studio, as the film has made enough internationally to show a profit and I suspect a sequel will be made, even if it is aimed at the international market even more than this film was.

The Darkest Hour is mostly an after thought with just $4.16 million / $5.24 million over the three / four-day weekend and $14.22 million after nine. With a Tomatometer Score that is barely in the double-digit range, it will likely collapse next weekend. On the positive side, it is close to matching expectations. million.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Darkest Hour, War Horse, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, We Bought a Zoo, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked