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‘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

Also suffering from sequel
fever in comparison to its 2009 entry was the third peak into the world of the obnoxious CGI chipmunks with
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 “
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,
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
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
Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $12.8M…$12.8M
New Year’s Eve –
The Sitter – $4.6M…$17.9M
The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn Part 1 – $4.2M…$266.3M
Hugo – $3.7M…$39.2M
Arthur Christmas –
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,” 
Bought a Zoo
, The Darkest Hour
War Horse. The predicted results
of the coming week would be anyone’s blind stab as even holdovers explode over
this period. 


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