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Christmas Weekend Estimates: Mission Impossible Wins Yuletide Race

December 26th, 2011

A mess of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday openings makes for a somewhat confusing picture at the box office over Christmas weekend, but Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol came out the clear-cut winner according to studio estimates released on Sunday and Monday. Its weekend haul of approximately $29.5 million left it $9 million clear of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which is the only other movie that can claim to be really strong at the box office at this point in time.

War Horse opened on Sunday to an estimated $7.5 million from 2,376 theaters, which is a solid performance, but probably would only have translated into around $16 million for the weekend if it had have been released on Friday, which would have left it some way of the pace in third place. The Darkest Hour was more lacklustre, with $2.8 million or so on Sunday, the equivalent of a $6.5 million weekend.

Three other openers posted middling results. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was best with $12.75 million. The Adventures of Tintin picked up $9.7 million, which is a drop in the bucket compared to its $130 million price tag, and We Bought a Zoo pulled in $9.45 million in 3,117 theaters.

Clearly the sheer quantity of choices available to moviegoers made the weekend something of a crapshoot for each film. Box office dollars ended up being spread across essentially six new releases (although Ghost Protocol played in 425 venues last weekend and Dragon Tattoo and Tintin got early starts), making it hard for any one film to break out. The timing of Christmas and the New Year gives all of them a chance to rack up some takings during the week, and so it's most likely too early to write any of them off completely. Competition will be fierce though as we head towards the end of the year.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Darkest Hour, War Horse, Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, We Bought a Zoo