The Devil Inside Possesses Moviegoers

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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.

2012 got off to a great start with the release of Paramount’s first movie through their Insurge imprint, the microbudget The Devil Inside, which brought in an estimated $34.5 million over its first three day weekend after an impressive $16.8 million opening day. Playing in just 2,285 theaters, it averaged over $15,000 per site, and if that weekend number holds, The Devil Inside will be the third-biggest opening for January, although its reported “F” CinemaScore (Paramount has denied this) points to a very frontloaded movie that won’t maintain that business for the rest of the month.

Dropping to second place, Brad Bird’s hit action movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Paramount), starring Tom Cruise, took in $20.5 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $170.2 million after four weeks. Working its way to being the 7th movie of 2011 to gross $200 million, it’s already the second-highest grossing movie in the franchise domestically.

The return of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie’s period action sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner Bros.) took third place with $14 million–down 33% from the New Year’s Day weekend–with a total gross of $157.4 million after four weeks in theaters.

The Daniel Craig – Rooney Mara starrer The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sony) remained in fourth place in its third weekend with $11.3 million, also having the best hold with just a 23% drop-off. It has grossed $76.8 million domestically.

Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked brought in $9.5 million in its fourth weekend to take fifth place with a total of $111.5 million.

Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (DreamWorks) took sixth place with $8.6 million and $56.8 million, putting it neck and neck with the Cameron Crowe-Matt Damon family drama We Bought a Zoo (20th Century Fox) taking seventh place with $8.4 million and $56.5 million total.

Spielberg’s other movie, the animated The Adventures of Tintin (Paramount) dropped to eighth place with $6.6 million and $61.8 million total.

Nearly a month after opening in New York and Los Angeles, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Focus Features), starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy and more, expanded nationwide into 809 theaters and managed to score ninth place with $5.8 million, averaging $7,000 per site and bringing its total to $10.4 million.

Gary Marshall’s star-studded romantic comedy New Year’s Eve (New Line/WB) took tenth place with $3.3 million and $52 million since opening in early December.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $122.6 million, which is up 33% from the first weekend of 2011 when Nicolas Cage’s Season of the Witch opened in third place with just over $10 million.

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