Weekend Receipts: Devil Inside Stinks All the Way to No. 1

There was good news and bad news at the movies over the weekend, where the first big box office frame of the new year showed a nice bounce from the sluggishness afflicting the end of 2011. The bad news? The comeback was led by the film equivalent of a dirty diaper. Let's have a look.

1. The Devil Inside
Gross: $34,500,000 (new)
Screens: 2,285 (PSA $15,098)
Weeks: 1

Paramount's microbudget Insurge label scored big again with its found-footage horror goods -- well, maybe not "goods," as the demonic-possession flick nabbed an ultra-rare CinemaScore of "F." Wow! People hated this movie! So for those of you keeping track at home: $34.5 million worth of viewers went home nursing the aftertaste of battery acid, while Paramount now has the highest-grossing R-rated January opener ever. It's nice to see 2012 off to such a mutually rewarding start at the multiplex.

2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Gross: $20,500,000 ($170,201,000)
Screens: 3,555 (PSA $5,767)
Weeks: 4 (Change: -30.3%)

At least there's this as well from the 'Mount. Put it on a parade float and let's just move on.

3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Gross: $14,055,000 ($157,415,000)
Screens: 3,603 (PSA $3,901)
Weeks: 4 (Change: -32.7%)

While no slouch, Holmes 2 looks decreasingly likely to match Iron Man 2's fest of besting the original at the box office, which I guess means Paramount (along with Marvel) can take even more consolation in having the superior Robert Downey Jr. franchise. To which Warners is all, "Oh yeah? Well, we have the best Jude Law franchise!" To which Paramount is all, "Jude who?" To which Warners is all, "Nice CinemaScore!" To which Paramount is all, "[Stony-faced fuming silence]."

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Gross: $11,300,000 ($76,836,000)
Screens: 2,950 (PSA: $3,831)
Weeks: 3 (Change: -23.8%)

Let's hope this silences once and for all the critics who've called out Dragon Tattoo's performance as underwhelming or soft: It's doing pretty freaking well for a 150-minute R-rated rapey miserablist romp. $100 million is less than two weeks away at this rate, and $200 million is hardly out of the question if and when Oscar's grace shines upon it.

5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Gross: $9,500,000 ($111,588,000)
Screens: 3,425 (PSA $2,774)
Weeks: 4 (Change: -42%)

Against all odds, Chipwrecked continues to demonstrate its appeal among the naked crackhead demographic sturdy legs heading into its second month. High-five!

[Figures via Box Office Mojo]

Follow S.T. VanAirsdale on Twitter.
Follow Movieline on Twitter.