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Weekend Wrap-Up: Ethereal Results

December 27th, 2011

Due to the placement of Christmas Day, we are still dealing with mostly studio estimates for weekend numbers. However, while we wait for the final numbers, we can look at some of these early results and compare them to expectations and in some cases use them predict how these films will end their theatrical runs. (In some cases, there's not enough information to guess where it will go in the future.) As for the overall box office numbers, we don't know if the final tally will be higher or lower than last year, but I'm not optimistic.

As expected, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol took top spot over the weekend, but it did so with a better than expected $29.50 million over the three-day portion of the weekend. Adding in Monday's numbers and the movie made $46.21 over the weekend and $62.15 million since Wednesday. With its previous IMAX / limited release run, it has earned $78.65 million so far and will have no trouble getting to $100 million early in the upcoming weekend. With outstanding reviews and not a lot of competition opening next month, it could top original expectations, but that might be too much to ask.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also beat expectations with $20.26 million over the three-day portion of the weekend and $31.01 million, if you include Monday. So far it has made $89.76 million and will also reach $100 million next weekend and is well on its way to profitablity. On the other hand, it won't match original expectations.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked were in a virtual tie for third place. The former won the race from Friday through Sunday with $12.75 million to $12.59 million; however, adding in Monday and the two films reversed their positions with the latter winning $19.53 million to $19.40 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks's running tally rose to $56.47 million, which is well below expectations. Likewise, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo only managed $27.72 during its six-day debut and it will need excellent legs to reach $100 million.

Thank goodness The Adventures of Tintin is a smash hit internationally, because it has struggled domestically. It managed just $4.73 million before the weekend, $9.71 million over the weekend and a four-day opening of $16.10 million. When you add in the film's earlier numbers from Canada, it has $24.11 million domestically. It has made enough internationally to cover its production budget, so it just needs to pay for its P&A budget here, which shouldn't be too hard, especially with its reviews and the lack of direct competition over the coming weeks.

We Bought a Zoo was the only film to open on Friday earning $9.36 million over the three-day portion of the weekend and $14.60 million over four. Its reviews were a little on the disappointing side and the competition is pretty tight, so I don't think its legs will be particularly good.

War Horse managed seventh place over the weekend, despite only opening on Sunday. It pulled in $7.52 million during its opening day and $14.53 million including Monday. It is seen by some as a contender for Best Picture Oscar, but I don't think it has the reviews to compete. After all, 75% positive is a great Tomatometer Score in most cases, but well below the 90% usually associated with Award Season Success. On the other hand, it should be enough to help its legs going forward.

The final release of the week is The Darkest Hour, which also opened on Sunday. During its first day of release, it made $3.00 million, while adding in Monday it has $5.07 million. This is almost the same as Wolf Creek and Black Christmas opened with during their first two days of release, so it should finish with a similar box office as those two films did, roughly $16 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