Weekend Box Office: Back-to-Back Holidays Cause Box Office Boost

Every movie in this New Year’s weekend Top 15 at the box office (with the exception of ‘The Sitter’, of course) was up in attendance from the previous four-day $200+ million weekend. Last week’s winner was again at the top of the ranks.

Including its five-day IMAX exclusive release, after two and a half short weeks on the big screen, ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘ has now brought in more than $132 million. That’s not bad for a $150 million movie. Trailing by more than $8 million is another sequel, the three-week-old ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows‘, with a total gross of $131 million.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked‘ (or as I like to call it, ‘Those Damn Chipmunks’) jumped up from the fourth spot to the third, and has now brought in more than $92 million during its three weeks of release. What is this world coming to? If this spurs a fourth installment, it will be time for a ‘V for Vendetta‘-style uprising.

Despite being up 16% in attendance, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘ slipped a spot and fell to fourth place. Having grossed $55 million in two and half weeks, David Fincher’s adaptation of the bestselling book isn’t pulling in huge numbers, but is showing some slow and steady growth. The question now is whether this is enough to warrant adapting the two sequel books?

Another slow builder, ‘War Horse‘ rounds out the Top 5. After only eight days in theaters, Steven Spielberg’s horse-centric World War I drama has already grossed $40 million. Considering that it was made on a slim-for-Spielberg $66 million budget, the film is on track to become a success. Ten-day-old ‘We Bought a Zoo‘ has also brought in a cumulative $40 million. On a near-$50 million budget, this one isn’t performing as well as the Fox studio expected. That’s also what Paramount is going through with 100+ million ‘The Adventures of Tintin‘. After 12 days, ‘Tintin’ has only grossed $47 million. Eight-day old ‘The Darkest Hour‘ still continues to fizzle in the #9 spot, grossing only $13 million on a $30 million budget.

Only three of the limited-release new openers made it into the weekend estimates, and all of them featured better per-screen averages than anything in the Top 15. ‘The Iron Lady‘ earned $221,000 on only four screens, giving it a $55,250 per-screen average. The Iranian drama ‘A Separation‘ pulled in $59,400 on three screens, earning $19,800 on each. Finally, ‘Pariah‘ grossed $48,600 on four screens with a $12,150 per-screen average. There’s no word yet on how ‘Angels Crest‘ performed.

Top 10:

1. ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ (Paramount) – $29,580,000

2. ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ (Warner Bros.) – $21,010,000

3. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ (Fox) – $16,350,000

4. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (Sony) – $14,800,000

5. ‘War Horse’ (Buena Vista) – $14,395,000

6. ‘We Bought A Zoo’ (Fox) – $13,200,000

7. ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ (Paramount) – $11,415,000

8. ‘New Year’s Eve’ (Warner Bros.) – $6,385,000

9. ‘The Darkest Hour’ (Summit) – $4,300,000

10. ‘The Descendants’ (Fox Searchlight) – $3,400,000


  1. ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked‘ (or as I like to call it, ‘Those Damn Chipmunks’) jumped up from the fourth spot to the third, and has now brought in more than $92 million during its three weeks of release. What is this world coming to?

    The issue is that there is only a couple of kids movies even showing right now, and Chipmunks is a safe bet. Kids are out of school, need to do something with them, and none of them are remotely interested in Tintin (got several friends with kids, and all of them wanted to see Chipmunks, with only a couple wanting to see We Bought a Zoo, and no one intrested in Tintin). The feedback I have had from the kids who have seen multiple movies this Christmas break was that the Chipmunks was the best of the movies out there. They were bored to tears by We Bought a Zoo and Mission Impossible, and the other movies do not intrest them at all. And that is why Chipmunks is doing so well – because it is really the only movie out right now that is appealing to the 10 and under crowd over a holiday break.

    • EM

      Today I had a conversation about Tintin and Chipwrecked (was there a more appropriately named film in 2011?) with a co-worker who is guardian to an eight-year-old boy. After I told her I’d seen and enjoyed Tintin, she told me her ward was on the Chipwrecked bandwagon and had no interest in Tintin. Soon I was suggesting (OK, pontificating) that adults must take a guiding role in children’s entertainment consumption, not just in the MPAA-rating sort of way but also in issues of quality.

      One source I’ve read contradicts Luke’s Tintin numbers: it seems that worldwide, the movie has been playing since October and has grossed over 311 million US dollars. I think Paramount et al. are not surprised the movie is facing more of an uphill climb in the US than in many foreign markets. With movie-theater visits being so expensive, it’s understandable that American parents are reluctant to buy their children tickets to a less sure, less known property. I’m hoping that when the movie hits Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming, it will win over a lot more US converts. Perhaps then the sequels will do better US box office.

      • I don’t typically go off worldwide numbers since they’re not always up-to-date. This weekend was an odd one for numbers because Hollywood reported both 3-day and 4-day weekend totals. I went off the 3-day for this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.