Holiday Weekend Receipts: Impossible Rules, War Horse Strong

'Twas the weekend of Christmas, and all through the house, many studio executives had good reason to grouse... Ugh, sorry about that -- it's the egg nog. In fairness, the holiday frame actually signaled a nice rebound from previous weekends (which, when considering the utter horror show this month's been, isn't saying so much, but still). Who got what they wanted for Christmas, and who did Santa all but skip? Your Weekend Receipts are here.

[All figures are four-day weekend estimates, with the exception of War Horse and The Darkest Hour, which opened Sunday.]

1. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Gross: $46,210,000 ($78,645,000)
Screens: 3,448 (PSA $13,402)
Weeks: 2 (Change: +261.4%)

Oh, so this is how Scientologists celebrate Christmas: With a franchise windfall that ran away with the box-office crown. Xenu? Er, I mean, who knew?

2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Gross: $31,810,000 ($90,564,000)
Screens: 3,703 (PSA $8,590)
Weeks: 2 (Change: -19.7%)

Enh. I'm more interested to see how this performs internationally, which will likely dictate how, when or even if your third Sherlock Holmes sausage is made. Just roll it in with Iron Man 3 and let Robert Downey Jr. move on with his life, already.

3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Gross: $20,000,000 ($56,940,000)
Screens: 3,734
Weeks: 2 (Change: -14%)

Raise your hand if you thought that the second weekend of Chipwrecked would outgross the first weekend of the PG-rated We Bought a Zoo by a nearly two-to-one margin. On Christmas, even! Maybe Fox should have bumped that awesome Marley and Me sequel to theaters instead.

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Gross: $19,400,000 ($27,776,000)
Screens: 2,914 (PSA $6,658)
Weeks: 1

Clearly the parents who suffered through Chipwrecked needed this bracing Fincherian pick-me-up. Nice timing, Sony!

5. The Adventures of Tintin
Gross: $16,100,000 ($24,107,000)
Screens: 3,087 (PSA: $5,215)
Weeks: 1

In the battle of the movie terriers, Tintin's Snowy was no match for The Artist's Uggie -- at least when it came to per screen average, $8,400 to $5,200. Honestly I have no other insights or observations to bring to this.

6. We Bought a Zoo
Gross: $15,600,000
Screens: 3,117 (PSA: $5,005)
Weeks: 1

Speaking of animal performers, what happened to Crystal the Monkey? First The Hangover Part II made more than half a billion dollars; then Zookeeper slid in with less than a third of that. Now she's doing holiday tricks for America's pocket change. Someone mount an intervention, pronto.

7. War Horse
Gross: $15,025,000
Screens: 2,376 (PSA: $6,324)
Weeks: 1

A miraculous horse! OK, not quite -- but still: That's not a bad two-day showing at all for a two-and-a-half-hour non-sequel with no stars and stiff competition (and not-so-stiff competition; The Darkest Hour was dead on arrival with $5,500,000) up and down the multiplex corridor. I'm very curious to see how this holds in the weeks ahead, if only so we might have the much-needed War Goose spinoff a few Christmases from now. Fingers crossed...

[Figures via Box Office Mojo]

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  • casting couch says:

    I think Ghost Protocol's money is all the Simon Pegg fans who want to see him mug and slapstick his way through another movie.

  • AS says:

    If everyone goes out and sees The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the Coke and Ramen Noodles are on me!

  • glebe says:

    Are all those monkeys really the same performer or did I not understand a joke?

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      Yes, they really are the same performer. And you didn't understand the joke. Which is fine! It sucked anyway.

  • The Winchester says:

    They should have just combined the movies into "We Bought a War Horse", a 3 hour OScar bait movie about a widower who buys a horse that he ships off to war that tugs at the heartstrings while repelling sensible people away and opening up a screen at the multiplex for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

    • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

      That's not a bad idea! Though I really gotta say that Stephanie nailed what's important about War Horse -- the mastery of and ambition of the filmmaking -- in a way that makes We Bought a Zoo feel like a treacle OD. It's not great, but at least it wants to be great, and it makes an honest effort to be great, and thus I'd argue it deserves to be seen on a big screen.

      I feel much the same way about Tinker Tailor: Beautifully conceived and crafted and evocatively realized, but hell if I could recommend it beyond that.