It hasn’t been a happy holiday season for Hollywood so far at the box office, but there was some hope that with the arrival of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” on Friday those fortunes might turn around. Unfortunately, moviegoers had other ideas or, more likely, priorities.
Box Office: ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ mysteriously underperforms for No. 1 Friday
The first “Sherlock Holmes” debuted on Christmas Day in 2009 and found itself with an impressive opening weekend take of $62 million. Two years later, the sequel opened the weekend before the holiday and grossed just $14.7 million on its first day. Normally, that figure would be something to cheer, but considering it only ads up to a $40-45 million three-day at best, Warner Bros. has to be somewhat concerned. “Holmes” may be suffering from a large part of its audience spending their time shopping at the mall for the holidays, but that likely would have explained a less significant dip. The venerable studio, which is already reeling from a disastrous debut for “New Year’s Eve” last weekend, will have to hope ticket sales spike during the Christmas through New Year’s Eve week. International may also find itself responsible for keeping the franchise’s legs alive.
Showing more obvious signs of audience fatigue in second place was “Chipwrecked.” The third “Alvin” film in five years, 20th Century Fox’s cash cow only grossed $6.8 million on Friday for what could be a $24-26 million weekend. The last “Chipmunks” picture, 2009’s “The Squeakquel,” debuted to $48.8 million. 20th Century Fox will also have to hope it can sail past “The Adventures of Tintin” over the holiday frame to a gross somewhere in striking distance of the last installment’s $219 million domestic take.
Debuting on just 425 IMAX screens was critical darling “Ghost Protocol.” The fourth “Mission Impossible” film grossed $4.1 million for an eye-popping $9,800 per screen Friday and it should do between $11-13 million over the three-day. “MI4” expands nationwide in conventional theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 21. At this early stage, the Brad Bird thriller should easily surpass “Mission Impossible III’s” $134 million gross in 2006 and Paramount, as well as Tom Cruise, appear to have brought a once popular franchise back to life.
In fourth place, the disappointing “New Year’s Eve” found another $2.5 million for $19.9 million in just 8 days. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1” grossed another $1.3 million and $263.4 million to date.
“Young Adult” expanded to 986 theaters for a $1.1 million Friday and should end up with a tad over $4 million by end of day Sunday.
Look for updated weekend updates Sunday on HitFix.