Turn off the Lights

‘Sherlock Holmes’ Sequel Can’t Solve Box-Office Riddle

Although never expected to match its predecessor’s $62.3-million Christmas Day launch in 2009 (which is a notoriously busy session), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows still underperformed, unable to crack even the $40-million mark. Better legs for this sequel will be expected as the holidays unfurl, but based on the popularity of the original and Robert Downey Jr.’s appeal, these results can’t help but tilt towards underwhelming. Keep your eye, however, on the blistering international box office, which should all but ensure a third entry.

Also suffering from sequel fever in comparison to its 2009 entry was the third peak into the world of the obnoxious CGI chipmunks with Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The live action/CGI mix began its run with roughly half of what the second did two years ago. Families seem to have gotten wise to the rather obvious surge in direct-to-DVD-quality sequels and nearly all have fainted in the face of their originators. Again, Christmas legs and overseas appeal may yet give us “Alvin 4: Ego Chip.”

Silver linings do exist though, folks, and that lining is as silky as Tom Cruise’s hair. On just 425 screens (almost all of them IMAX), the critically adored four-quel, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol stole away $12.8 million and a per-theater average that nearly tripled its predecessor’s (4,000-plus screen) average. Once again, the international take was red hot as “MI:4” collected $68.2 million from 36 markets and after just three days (and no wide domestic release) has matched a quarter of Mission: Impossible III’s entire global gross.


The Top 10

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - $39.6M (weekend)…$39.6M (gross)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked - $23.2M…$23.2M
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol - $12.8M…$12.8M
New Year’s Eve - $7.3M…$24.7M
The Sitter - $4.6M…$17.9M
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - $4.2M…$266.3M
Hugo - $3.7M…$39.2M
Arthur Christmas - $3.6M…$38.5M
The Muppets - $3.5M…$70.9M
Young Adult - $3.4M…$3.8M

The remainder of an unremarkable box office was mirrored in the wide expansion of the Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody comedy Young Adult, which just slipped into tenth and has none of the momentum that propelled similar comedies Juno and Up in the Air to sizeable totals.

With the Yuletide bells ringing, six wide debuts are unleashed from the 21st to the 25th including The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the second coming of “Ghost Protocol,” We Bought a Zoo, The Darkest Hour and War Horse. The predicted results of the coming week would be anyone’s blind stab as even holdovers explode over this period. 


Meet the Author

User not found.

Follow Us