By Gabe Toro | The Playlist December 25, 2011 at 7:22PM
Twas the night before and/or the night of Christmas, and all through the theaters, it was empty and chilly, no maintenance, no heaters. Most moviegoers selected the 'Ghost Protocol,' with the legend from "Legend" and that guy from "Paul." "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" couldn't beat the Tom Cruise sequel. Not even the Steven Spielberg-Peter Jackson collaboration could be its equal.
The fourth 'Mission: Impossible' returns former A-Lister Cruise's honor, even if by all accounts, after part three, this franchise looked like a goner. They bucked downward trends with Jeremy Renner and Paula's Patton, and by pretending the Burj Khalifa was just another building in Manhattan. The third sequel stands triumphant over a thick new holiday movie cluster, relaxing expectations for Cruise's next few blockbusters.
Coming in second was "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows." But heat has dimmed from the first film, and these numbers are shallow. No one involved will be forced to move into a van, but Robert Downey Jr. is gonna need that next "Iron Man." The picture didn't freefall, so there could still be a part three, but who will show up if they skipped the one with Moriarity?
With the families in full force, kids happily got 'Chipwrecked.' But the latest "Alvin And The Chipmunks" underperformance has Fox executives perplexed. The last two films dropped under 37% in weekend two, but this one's 44% drop is slightly more cruel. While it might make financial sense for a part four from the mind of Ross Bagdasarian, it's likely most audiences would prefer a rusty-spoon Cesarian.
Audiences worldwide love "The Adventures Of Tintin," but in America it had the appeal of an angry Hillary Clinton. The picture has passed $250 million worldwide quite fast, but the US-overseas split reminded people of "The Golden Compass." The producers insist a sequel will be come, but considering inflated 3D prices, these numbers are moribund.
"New Year's Eve," "Arthur Christmas," "The Muppets" and "Hugo." Lots of money spent by studios, little profit to show. "Muppets" is the biggest winner, maybe we'll get another. But all the awards in the world can't keep "Hugo" from being a bummer. Off to FX and Cartoon Network for 'Arthur' and 'Eve,' and the back of DVD shelves where they'll be too far to retrieve.
Merry Christmas! (Totals Friday through Sunday)
1. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Paramount) - $25.8 million ($58.2 mil.)
2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (Warner Bros.) - $17.8 million ($76.6 mil.)
3. Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Fox) - $13.3 million ($50.3 mil.)
4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony) - $13 million ($21.4 mil.)
5. The Adventures Of Tintin (Paramount) - $8.8 million ($16.8 mil.)
6. We Bought A Zoo (Fox) - $7.8 million
7. New Year's Eve (Warner Bros.) - $3 million ($32 mil.)
8. Arthur Christmas (Sony) - $2.7 million ($44 mil.)
9. The Muppets (Disney) - $2 million ($76 mil.)
10. Hugo (Paramount) - $2 million ($44 mil.)