Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol grossed an estimated $31.25 million over the three-day frame to remain in first place over New Year's weekend. The well-received action sequel starring Tom Cruise was up a solid 6 percent over last weekend's three-day frame. The marketplace in general was up significantly over Christmas weekend, though both Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows experienced smaller percentage increases compared to other films as moviegoers spread out their choices more so this weekend than last weekend. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol has grossed an excellent $134.14 million in 17 days and should remain a factor at the box office throughout the month of January thanks in part to both strong word of mouth and continued IMAX grosses.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows held steady in second place with an estimated $22.10 million. The Warner Bros. sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. was up 9 percent over last weekend. After a much slower than expected start, A Game of Shadows has in turn held up nicely over the past two weeks. The film's 17-day total stands at $132.10 million, which now places the film 20 percent behind the pace of 2009's Sherlock Holmes. A Game of Shadows should continue to shrink the percentage gap between the two films going forward.
Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was up a terrific 45 percent over last weekend to take third place with an estimated $18.25 million. New Year's weekend is traditionally a strong frame for family films and that was certainly the case once again this year. Much like A Game of Shadows, Chipwrecked has held up well on the heels of its softer than expected opening weekend performance in mid-December. Chipwrecked has grossed $94.61 million in 17 days, placing it 33 percent behind the pace of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.
War Horse finished in fourth with an estimated $16.94 million. This weekend served at the film's first full weekend of release after opening on Sunday last weekend. The Disney released Steven Spielberg directed DreamWorks film was up 125 percent compared to last Sunday's opening day performance. War Horse had lost noticeable momentum throughout the weekdays, but regained major momentum on Saturday, another sign of the film skewing extremely heavily towards older moviegoers. The film continues to exceed expectations with an eight-day start of $42.97 million.
Sony's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was up a healthy 28 percent over last weekend to round out the weekend's top five with an estimated $16.30 million. The David Fincher directed remake didn't light the box office on fire last weekend, but is holding up nicely thus far (even when factoring in the postive effect of the holidays on holding power). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has grossed $57.11 million in twelve days, placing it 5 percent behind the pace of 2005's Fun with Dick and Jane (which also opened the Wednesday before Christmas).
While there were no new wide releases this weekend, there were some notable platform releases over the frame. The most impressive of the group was The Weinstein Company's The Iron Lady, which grossed an estimated $221,752 from 4 locations, giving it a strong per-location average of $55,438. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics' A Separation grossed an estimated $66,598 from 3 locations, while Focus' Pariah grossed an estimated $49,695 from 4 locations. Respective per-location averages were $22,199 for A Separation and $12,424 for Pariah.
Check back tomorrow for four-day weekend studio estimates.
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