Weekend Receipts: Sherlock Beats Chipmunks, But Ethan Hunt Wins

Sherlock Holmes may have won the weekend with a modest debut, but was it the real box office winner? Not with Tom Cruise and the Mission: Impossible gang around to flaunt their fab limited release per-screen average in everyone's faces, a precursor to next week's Christmastime blitz. And, yeah. The new Chipmunks is out. A moment of silence for all the poor souls who helped it debut in the number two slot. I'd wager even David Cross feels for you.

1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Gross: $40,020,000

Screens: 3,703 (PSA $10,807)

Weeks: 1

It says something that even the rascally sass of Robert Downey Jr. wasn't enough to bring in blockbuster numbers for Sherlock Holmes 2, Guy Ritchie's solid follow-up to 2009's sleuthing adventure. Could it be that posters depicting RDJ and Jude Law breathlessly posing with pistols didn't quite convey the scope and deliciousness of new villain (and iconic Holmes nemesis) Moriarty? Or: Maybe Warner Bros. should've kept a tighter lid on the reveal of Downey in drag, all blue eyeshadow and bonnets?

2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Gross: $23,500,000

Screens: 3,723

Weeks: 1

Movieline's Julie Miller watched six clips from Chipwrecked and nearly lost her mind; imagine the poor souls who schlepped the kids to the cineplex this weekend and had to watch the entire thing?

3. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Gross: $13,000,000

Screens: 425 (PSA $30,588)

Weeks: 1

To consider Mission: Impossible 4 a limited release (just under 500 theaters) is laughable considering it's the biggest movie spectacle of the season - and when I say biggest, I mean IMAX-big. High anticipation for the slick sequel, the sight of Tom Cruise hanging from a skyscraper by his fingertips, and rave reviews should make M:I4 the new release of choice when you and the fam pile into the minivan for some Christmastime movie-watching.

4. New Year's Eve

Gross: $7,420,000 ($24,826,000)

Screens: 3,505 (PSA $2,117)

Weeks: 2 (Change: -43.0%)

The box office allure of Garry Marshall's ensemble rom-com is already fading, and it's only week 2. Expect it to become but an auld memory by the time the actual New Year's rolls around, and let's all make a resolution to never give these lame pasted-together holiday movies another shot, shall we?

5. The Sitter

Gross: $4,400,000 ($17,721,000)

Screens: 2,752 (PSA $1,599)

Weeks: 2 (Change: -55.3%)

There's a chance Jonah Hill's babysitting comedy could get a boost this week from his SAG and Golden Globes nominations, which launched the one-time Superbad actor into his very first awards season. Then again, it's one of the lowest-reviewed new releases in theaters. And if I were Hill, I'd want people thinking more "Awards-Nominated Jonah Hill" than "Yelling Obscenities at Young Children Jonah Hill" right about now. So, yeah... how about that Moneyball?

Weekend Box Office [Box Office Mojo]


  • AS says:

    $40 million is modest?

  • 2+2=5 says:

    "Maybe Warner Bros. should’ve kept a tighter lid on the reveal of Downey in drag, all blue eyeshadow and bonnets?"

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    Compared to the first film's $62 million opening? Pretty much.

  • AS says:

    Still, and plus that's only domestic.

  • I don't make the rules. It may be huge in Hong Kong, and it may yet surpass the original overall, but speaking objectively, losing more than a third of your opening-weekend volume on a sequel -- particularly with no real competition in the market -- is a disappointment. Because it's going to _plunge_ next week.

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