â€œMission Impossibleâ€ cruises to top of box office
LOS ANGELES: â€œMission: Impossible â€“ Ghost Protocolâ€ cruised to No. 1 at box offices on Sunday, even as major new movies opened on Christmas Day which may change top 10 results when final numbers are tallied.
The new Tom Cruise movie rang up an estimated $26.5 million in US and Canadian ticket sales over the three-day weekend, according to studio estimates, after expanding from a limited release in Imax and other large-screen theaters last week.
Paramount Pictures, which released the movie, said it expects a four-day tally of slightly more than $40 million by Monday, when final estimates are reported. The filmâ€™s cumulative ticket sales are expected to reach just over $72 after Monday.
Indeed, the weekend box office race truly will finish on Monday because Christmas day annually is among the most crowded days in theaters and on Sunday, director Steven Spielbergâ€™s widely-anticipated â€œWar Horseâ€ makes its debut along with another newcomer, thriller â€œThe Darkest Hour.â€
Hollywoodâ€™s major studios loaded the release schedule last week heading into the holiday, expecting the films to play well between now and New Yearâ€™s Eve while parents and kids are away from work and school. As a result, a clear picture of how the movie studios fared this Christmas season awaits the full week of box office reports.
Meanwhile, over the weekend Warner Brosâ€™ â€œSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsâ€ took the No. 2 spot on U.S. and Canadian (domestic) box office charts with $17.8 million, according to Sundayâ€™s estimates. Cumulative ticket sales for â€œSherlockâ€ after two weeks now stand at roughly $76.5 million.
Another holdover from last week, family comedy â€œAlvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwreckedâ€ squeaked into No. 3 with $13.3 million, pushing its total domestic ticket sales to $50.3 million after two weeks in theaters.
Following it were a trio of last weekâ€™s newcomers, widely-anticipated â€œThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,â€ family film â€œThe Adventures of Tintinâ€ and comedy â€œWe Bought A Zoo.â€
â€œDragon Tattooâ€ landed at No. 4 on Sunday with $13 million, a hair behind the chipmunks, and a Sony spokesman cautioned the studioâ€™s figure could change when Sundayâ€™s figures are final.
â€œToday and tomorrow should be our strongest days of the holiday frame,â€ the spokesman said, noting that the studio did not have a Monday estimate.
â€œDragon Tattooâ€ now has estimated total domestic ticket sales of $21.4 million since its debut.
â€œTintin,â€ another Spielberg film released by Paramount, landed at No. 5 over the weekend with $9.1 million. The studio sees it rising to $14.3 million after Monday. Total ticket sales by Monday are seen at $22.3 million since its debut.
Finally, another new entry this weekend, the comedy â€œWe Bought a Zoo,â€ landed at No. 6 with $7.8 million.
Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc. Warner Bros. is part of Time Warner Inc.. â€œThe Girl With the Dragon Tattooâ€ was released by the movie studio division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a unit of Sony Corp.
Chipwreckedâ€ and â€œZooâ€ were both released by film divisions of 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.