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Weekend Estimates: Devil Inside Scores Surprise Win

The Devil Inside came out of nowhere to win this weekend's race at the box office, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. Its $34.5 million debut is well ahead of expectations and will likely place it second or third on the list of all-time January opening weekends when final numbers are released on Monday. (See full list of January record weekends.) This performance is a welcome boost to overall business, which is coming off a disappointing 2011. Total box office for the weekend should be about 30% up from this weekend last year.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol didn't manage a third weekend win, but will be down just 30% from New Year's weekend with $20.5 million and has now passed $170 million in receipts. $200 million should be a formality from here. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be down just 23% in fourth place with $11.4 million, and has a good shot at topping $100 million domestically.

Expanding into 809 theater, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is predicted to earn about $5.8 million, which will be enough for 9th place. Its $7,120 per theater average suggests that it could expand wider yet. Three other limited releases also show the kind of business that would support an expansion: The Iron Lady will average about $34,420 in five theaters, A Separation and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are both headed for about $16,000 in six venues. All four films will be hoping to turn box office buzz into Awards Season momentum in the coming weeks.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Devil Inside, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Iron Lady, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close