Sherlock Holmes Tops Domestic Box Office, Mission: Impossible Strong Overseas

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows easily topped the domestic box office its first weekend, earning an estimated $40 million from 3,703 theaters, an average of $10,807 per theater. The opening was quite a bit down from Sherlock Homes, which debuted to $62.3 million over Christmas weekend in 2009. The sequel, which cost about $125 million to make, was directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Fry and Rachel McAdams.

Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked debuted in second place to $23.5 million from 3,723 theaters. Averaging $6,312 per location and costing $75 million, the third installment was also down from the $48.9 million launch of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel in 2009 and the $44.3 million debut of Alvin and the Chipmunks in 2007.

Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol earned an impressive $13.6 million from just 425 IMAX theaters domestically and $68.2 million overseas this weekend in 36 markets. A lot of the locations include the 6-minute prologue for Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises. Directed by Brad Bird, the $140 million film stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton. It opens in conventional theaters nationwide on Wednesday.

Warner Bros.’ New Year’s Eve took fourth place with $7.4 million its second weekend and has earned $24.8 million so far. It still has a ways to go before reaching its production costs of $56 million.

Fox comedy The Sitter rounded out the top five with $4.4 million to take its $17.7 million after two weeks, while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 added $4.3 million its fifth weekend to push its total to $266.4 million.

Paramount increased the theater count for Charlize Theron-starrer Young Adult to 986 which allowed it to earn $3.7 million for a two-week total of $4.1 million.

In limited release, Roman Polanski’s Carnage, starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, took in $85,700 from just five theaters.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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