Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

December 17, 2011

He should never have asked her if he could borrow her hat.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The Robert Downey Jr. sequel earned $14.7 million on Friday, far surpassing everything else. This is down quite a bit from the opening day of the first Sherlock Holmes entry ($24.6 million), but that's because it opened on Christmas Day 2009. It's kind of hard make any sort of solid comparison between the two entries, as Christmas on a Friday is probably the best case scenario for box office (while this year, Christmas on a Sunday, is probably a worst case scenario; all sorts of wacky stuff is going to happen over the next eight days because of it). After the last two weekends were pretty much a washout, this is a good start for what's going to happen over the next two weeks. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows should have a weekend of $42.6 million.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

The third Alvin and the Chipmunks film comes in second on Friday with $6.8 million. This, thankfully, is well below expectations and there's no getting around it. The original Alvin and the Chipmunks was released over this weekend in 2007 to $13.3 million and had a weekend of $44.3 million. The Squeakquel (sigh) released over Christmas in 2009 and had a weekend proper of $48.8 million over Christmas after a Wednesday opening. So, audiences have partially come to their senses and it couldn't have happened soon enough. It's likely to be the top choice for kids over the holiday week, but the $200 million heights of the two previous Chipmunks films is likely out of the question. Give Chipwrecked a weekend of $23.2 million.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Currently only in 425 IMAX screens, the fourth entry in the Mission: Impossible turns in an impressive $4.6 million, good enough for third place on Friday. Reviews are fantastic for it and the addition of the first nine minutes of The Dark Knight Rises in select screenings didn't hurt either, I'm sure. The gimmick of going IMAX only makes the rest of the weekend tough to predict but I would look for a start in the area of $14 million.

Young Adult

Expanding off its impressive opening in limited release last weekend and capitalizing on a very soft lower half of the box office (and Golden Globe nomination for Charlize Theron), Young Adult earned $1.1 million in under 1,000 theaters. Its per-screen average took a...slight hit after earning $300,000 on just eight screens last weekend and this doesn't bode all that well for future expansion barring Oscar nominations. It should have a weekend of $3.2 million.

Notable Holdovers

Okay, now it's a complete flop. New Year's Eve drops 50% to $2.5 million. It will earn $7.3 million this weekend and will not be a factor in the end of the year holiday money train so we are free from the eventual scourge on humanity that would have been Secretary's Day.

Meanwhile, Jonah Hill's The Sitter drops 62% to $1.4 million, an unfortunate end to the career of Fat Jonah Hill. Give it a weekend of $4.2 million.


Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 42.6
2 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked 23.2
3 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol 14.1
4 New Year's Eve 7.5
5 The Sitter 4.2
6 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 4.1
7 Hugo 3.6
8 The Muppets 3.6
9 Young Adult 3.2
10 The Descendants 3.0



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