Mission Has A Very Possible Gross While Others Are Just Gross - Week 9 | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

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Mission Has A Very Possible Gross While Others Are Just Gross - Week 9

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Puss in Boots
Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
War Horse
We Bought a Zoo
The Darkest Hour
It's hard to believe that two years ago three films topped over $60 million each during the Christmas Weekend. In five days Avatar, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and Sherlock Holmes (which was only out three of those days) made more than $220 million combined. The story was very different in 2010 when the western remake True Grit and a third go-round of Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro in Little Fockers weren't causing folks to bum-rush the box-office. Even if you threw Tron Legacy in there (and please, just throw that thing anywhere… no one will notice), that trio produced a paltry $105 million haul.

That was all supposed to change in 2011, however, with six new releases and two strong holdovers (clearly, more films than Rick Perry could ever hope to remember), someone just forgot to tell the movie-goers. Instead, our top three films of the holiday weekend made a mind-blowing $110 million! Oh wait, that's just $5 million more than the lackluster 2010 total. Obviously, it's the huge variety of films that got people's interest going and if you count in those five other new movies that'll give us $170 million. Pretty good, right? Sure, but by that logic you could kick in the other five films from the 2009 weekend and then that was a $285 million gross. Yeah, this weekend was more than $100 million behind, but at least Hollywood doesn't have to get a Congressional Vote to increase its debt ceiling.

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol was the closest thing to a blockbuster with about a $61 million six-day gross in wide release. The Tom Cruise vehicle has cruised to $78.6 million in total and puts the chances of us getting a Mission: Impossible - Roadhouse Protocol this much closer to fruition. Oh, I can already imagine the moment in the movie when the Ethan Hunt says, "I want you to be nice… until it's time to not be nice." The hair on my arms stood up just typing it!

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows lurked in Tom's shadow with about $49 million over those same six days. Considering how bland this season's totals have been so far, claiming $89.8 million feels like a win. Mentioning that the original Sherlock deduced more than that much money in only six days instead of 11 doesn't. I wonder if Rachel McAdams, whose agent once advised her not to be the female lead in Casino Royale to avoid being typecast as a Bond Girl, realizes that she's now is danger of only being cast as a love interest in Victorian action movies. Since there are so many more Victorian action movies than modern-day thrillers, this was a much better call.

If only Alvin had the guts to go down with the ship, we wouldn't have to talk about this next movie. Sadly, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked squirreled another $26 million out of parents trying to avoiding doing anything actually parental over the holiday break. Similarly to Sherlock 2, Alvin 3's $56.8 million over 11 days seems tepid when compared to The Squeakquel besting that total in four days in 2009. By the way, does the fact that when I first typed chipmunks at the beginning of this paragraph and I accidently misspelled it "chimpunks" count as a Freudian slip?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did little to mark its territory at theaters with $27.8 million over six days and a Tuesday night opening. Its "Best Selling Book," "Acclaimed Director," and "The Guy Who Hasn't Headlined A Hit Outside of James Bond" taglines did little to get the literary and non-literary fans into the seats. Maybe the studio thought it was a film that could market itself as it seemed to be a "name" based on its "millions sold" hype, yet even if Saw VII was based on a book, movie audiences need a little more to work with. Perhaps they though director David Fincher and Daniel Craig would solve the rest, though that logic didn't help 2007's Zodiac which starred Robert Downey Jr. Though, to be fair, comparing the drawing power of RDJ before Iron Man (when he was co-starring in movies like Tim Allen's The Shaggy Dog) to his post-Tony Stark work is completely pointless. Much like A Scanner Darkly and Gothika. Suffice to say, the ink may be a little too wet with this one to plan those two follow-up movies.

The same could be said about The Adventures of Tintin. This was intended to be a trilogy between Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. After a six-day total of $24.1 million, American audiences seem to be saying, "You know where we like our Belgian comics? In Belgium!" Hollywood, take note. Until you start turning out those Cathy, Ziggy, and Family Circle movies, we're not going to go to your fancy pants, artsy fartsy, "they're huge in the Netherlands!" comics like Tintin. Com'on, like anything here is going to top Cathy trying on a swimsuit for the millionth time… not!

War Horse and We Bought a Zoo appeared to be making the same animal tracks as they both brought in about $14.5 million over the weekend. However, Zoo opened two days earlier, so really War Horse has been faster out of the gate. That said, the gate is entitled "We Made Less Than Half of M:I-GP on Both Days," so let's not get too crazy about this trot around the field.

Finally, The Darkest Hour may not be its opening but its closing. Zapping $5.1 million in two days, the Russian-based alien invasion is probably not long for this world. The biggest shock in the film probably came to viewers who'd already seen Ghost Protocol as they thought, "Wait, didn't we just see the Kremlin get blown-up? What's it still doing there?!"

In regards to the Top Five, two films from December have finally climbed onto the chart to purge us from the false prophets of Tower Heist and The Muppets. As to whether Sherlock or Ethan Hunt will ever step into Puss's boots, remains to be seen.

The 2011 Holiday Movie Pool Top Five (If Today Was MLK Day):
#1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 - $271.2 million
#2. Puss in Boots - $143.9 million
#3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - $89.8 million
#4. Immortals - $82.2 million
#5. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - $78.6 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/27/2011

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked, Immortals, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Puss in Boots, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Darkest Hour, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, War Horse, We Bought a Zoo
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