By Brian Fuson | Thompson on Hollywood January 2, 2012 at 4:25PM
With the four-day New Year's Weekend grosses tallied, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” and Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” continued to stake the top two spots.
Christmas Eve is one of the slowest movie going days of the year and fell on Saturday last weekend, so over the New Year’s four-day weekend, every film held strong at the boxoffice thanks to a hearty holiday turnout.
“Ghost Protocol” held the top spot once again as the Tom Cruise-starrer rang up an estimated $38.33 million on its second weekend in wide release, down 13% from a week ago. The Brad Bird actioner has generated a smart $141.21 million to date for the latest film in the lucrative franchise.
Holding tight in second place, Guy Ritchie's “Game of Shadows,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. checked an estimated $26.51 million on its third wide weekend in theaters, down 15% from last weekend. The period sequel has sleuthed around $136.51 million so far for the PG-13 rated action adventure film.
After a disappointing opening, Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” has held its own to become the main attraction for the family audience late in the holiday season. “Chipwrecked” moved up a notch into in third place with an estimated four-day tally of $21 million, up a seaworthy 17% from the comparable four days last week. The live-action computer animated comedy from director Mike Mitchell, starring Jason Lee and David Cross, has grossed around $97.36 million.
Steven Spielberg's “War Horse” from Disney leaped into the fourth slot from seventh a week ago, with a four-day gross of an estimated $19.2 million, up 32% from last weekend, when the film opened on Sunday. The period drama, set during World War I, has fared well with critics, garnering a 76% favorable rating from RottenTomatoes.com. The PG-13 rated “War Horse”--which has kept some family audiences away due to its harrowing depiction of wartime horse casualties-- has picked up an estimated $45.25 million to date.
Landing in the fifth slot is one of two R-rated features among the top ten, Sony’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” The David Fincher thriller, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, brought in an estimated $19 million, down 2% from the Christmas weekend, taking the cume for the remake to an estimated $60 million. With a reported production budget of $90 to 100 million, “Girl” will have to look to the international markets to help move the film into the black.
Fox’s family-friendly “We Bought a Zoo” hopes to find traction with that audience, and this weekend took in an estimated $16.5 million, a stout 13% increase from last weekend, to take the sixth slot. The comedy/drama from director Cameron Crowe stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, and has grossed roughly $44 million since its release.
Another Spielberg picture landed in the seventh spot as the prolific director competed against himself this weekend. Paramount’s “The Adventures of Tintin” pulled in an estimated $15 million, down just 1% from the four-day Christmas weekend. The computer animated motion capture adventure, based on the books by Herge and produced by Peter Jackson, is a performance capture adventure about a young reporter and his loyal dog. “Tintin” has picked up around $50.84 million in North America, and more than $260.5 million abroad, where the film was released in late October.
Warner Bros.’ “New Year’s Eve” benefited from its namesake holiday this weekend and landed in the eighth spot with an estimated $7.74 million for the Garry Marshall romantic comedy, marking an increase of a stellar 49% from a week earlier – the biggest jump of any film in the top 10. The star studded cast has helped the film move its total gross up to around $47.4 million.
Summit’s “The Darkest Hour” was in the ninth spot with an estimated $5.25 million, marking a 4% rise from a week ago and moving the cume to a lethargic $14.2 million.
Among the Oscar contenders, with just 758 locations, Fox Searchlight’s “The Descendants” took the tenth slot with an estimated $4.25 million, up 30% from last weekend. The George Clooney-starrer has picked up around $40.27 million so far. The Weinstein Company’s “Iron Lady” opened in limited release in just four theaters this weekend. The picture, about England’s Margaret Thatcher starring Meryl Streep, pulled in an estimated $280,409 from four theaters over the four-day weekend.
More indie results are at Indiewire, which also wraps up the year at the indie box office. Stay tuned for TOH's Holiday Box Office Winners and Losers story later today and Year End Box Office Wrap on Tuesday, complete with studio market shares--based on final year-end numbers.