“Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” was the top U.S. and Canadian film over the New Year’s weekend, collecting $31.3 million for Paramount Pictures and closing out a tough year at home for Hollywood.
With no new movies in wide release, the fourth film in the series featuring Tom Cruise coasted to a No. 1 finish in its third week in cinemas, Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” came in second with $22.1 million, while “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” collected $18.3 million.
“Ghost Protocol” helped propel Viacom Inc. (VIA/B)’s Paramount to first place for the year in U.S. cinemas, according to Box Office Mojo, another researcher. The studio’s 2011 total of $1.86 billion in domestic sales through Dec. 25 topped 2010’s full-year tally of $1.73 billion. It also marked a bright spot in a year when overall U.S. attendance shrank and sales fell.
The industry’s revenue woes were tied to “three things: It’s the movies themselves, it’s the economy and it’s all the competing technology,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office division of Hollywood.com.
“We’ll find out in 2012” whether studios can offset the latter two issues with potentially better movies and new marketing tactics, he said.
In “Ghost Protocol,” Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, leader of an elite special-operations squad that takes on the government’s most difficult assignments. This time, team members go underground to clear their names after being falsely implicated in a bombing at the Kremlin. The movie also features Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg.
The film opened Dec. 16 for an exclusive, five-day run in large-screen theaters, including 300 Imax Corp. (IMAX) locations, before moving to wide release on Dec. 21. The first three films generated $1.4 billion in global ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
In “Sherlock Holmes,” Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the cerebral sleuth created by novelist Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes and sidekick Dr. John Watson match wits with arch- criminal Moriarty, who plots to create an arms race among European powers. Jude Law plays Watson and Jared Harris portrays Moriarty in the film from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” from News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox studio, has emerged as the top family film after three weeks of release. The movie is the third in a series of animated pictures since 2007 that has generated $916 million in worldwide theatrical sales through Dec. 28, according to Box Office Mojo.
In the latest installment, the singing chipmunks are marooned on a seemingly deserted tropical island. The picture has taken in $94.6 million since its Dec. 16 release.
“War Horse” traces the friendship of a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert against the backdrop of World War I. The film follows the horse as he moves through the war with British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter.
Spielberg’s other holiday entry, “The Adventures of Tintin,” brought in $12 million in its second week of release to finish in seventh place.
Finishing fifth was “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” from Sony Corp. (6758) with $16.3 million in its second week. Rooney Mara stars as Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker employed by a security firm. She joins with a journalist, played by Daniel Craig, to investigate a chain of homicides. The film is an English-language remake of a Swedish adaption of the novel by Stieg Larsson.
Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 1.5 percent to $150.9 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. For the year, revenue fell 3.4 percent while attendance dropped 4.2 percent. The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 and estimates for yesterday.
Rev. Avg./ Pct. Total Movie (mln) Theaters Theater Chg. (mln) Wks ================================================================ 1 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE $31.3 3,455 $9,045 6 $134.1 3 2 SHERLOCK HOLMES 22.1 3,703 5,967 9 132.1 3 3 ALVIN AND CHIPMUNKS 18.3 3,724 4,901 45 94.6 3 4 WAR HORSE 16.9 2,547 6,651 125 43.0 2 5 GIRL DRAGON TATTOO 16.3 2,914 5,594 28 57.1 2 6 WE BOUGHT A ZOO 14.3 3,163 4,521 53 41.8 2 7 ADVENTURES OF TINTIN 12.0 3,087 3,887 24 47.8 2 8 NEW YEAR’S EVE 6.7 2,225 3,016 103 46.4 4 9 THE DARKEST HOUR 4.3 2,327 1,848 43 13.3 2 10 THE DESCENDANTS 3.7 758 4,815 76 39.7 7 11 THE MUPPETS 2.6 1,541 1,679 21 82.5 6 12 HUGO 2.5 951 2,655 19 49.5 6 Top 12 Films Grosses This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $150.9 $148.6 1.5 Year-to-date Revenue: 2011 2010 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $10,215 $10,570 -3.4 Year-to-date Attendance: -4.2%
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