Sherlock And Chipmunks Underwhelm At Box Office, But Mission Impossible Is Already A Hit
For the first time in December Hollywood studios are finally offering movies worth seeing in wide release, but audiences still don't seem to be all that interested-- unless Tom Cruise is involved, that is. According to early numbers at Deadline both of the weekend's new sequels-- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows-- are underperforming compared to the previous films. Sherlock Holmes is set to win the weekend with $42 million, with Chipwrecked trailing well behind at $25.8 million; by comparison, the previous films in their franchises opened to $62 million and $48 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, in just 425 theaters, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol made $4.7 million on Friday, and is on track to earn $12 million-- which, if it had opened last weekend, would have been almost enough to unseat New Year's Eve from the #1 spot. It's still possible to give a lot of that credit to the prologue for The Dark Knight Rises that's running in front of it, but it's hard to deny that the stellar reviews and excitable posts (like, uh, this one) have made Mission: Impossible feel more like an event movie than either Holmes or Chipmunks. Those are both movies you might be willing to catch on DVD down the line, but the iMAX spectacle of Mission: Impossible really demands that you see it on the big screen.
If this weekend is looking like a down one, that will be yet another box office weekend in which Hollywood fails to capture audience imaginations. We'll really know to start panicking, though, when the whole slew of new movies open next Wednesday. If the holiday season isn't successful after the $750 million the studios collectively spent on the movies they're releasing, then the industry will really have a problem on its hands comes 2012.
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