The Twelve Days of Box Office

By Reagen Sulewski

December 28, 2011

Those are not the most stylish pants I've ever seen.

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The Christmas week bonanza continued in slightly subdued form on Tuesday, with how Merry you found Post-Boxing Day correlating almost exactly with how young the audience for your movie was. Things are downhill from here on, but it's a nice easy slope.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol continued to be the big story of the day, pulling in an estimated $9.6 million in its 12th full day of release (though those first five come with an asterisk) to stay on top for the seventh day in a row. It's pretty safe to say that for the rest of this period, nothing's going to catch it. It had the second highest drop for Tuesday of all significant films, at around 34%, but that's to be expected in this spot for an older-trending action film. This makes it $86.1 million for its run so far, and gives it a nice baseline for its remaining two days of mid-week box office, where it ought to add about $20 million more before the weekend. Things were looking potentially sketchy there for this and other films for a couple of days, but Santa always delivers box office, even if it's a couple of days late.

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows kept pace in second place with $7.3 million estimated on Tuesday, leaving it just shy of $100 million since its release. It's about $50 million behind pace of the first Sherlock Holmes film with this many days of release, although in that case, the first one got to have almost all of those days happen during Christmas week. You don't get those days back, of course, and while it should catch up slightly in the next couple of days, it's going to be fighting from a losing position and with a smaller weekend total. International box office is going to tell the tale here for a sequel, as Game of Shadows will almost certainly end up below $200 million domestic.


In third place we have the first of our children's films that are notoriously strong performers in this spot. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked brought in an estimated (let's just save some time and note that all these numbers today are estimates, OK?) $6.8 million, nearly matching the $6.9 million from Monday, proving that parents will take their kids to anything with a PG or lower rating during this period. Now, at $63 million total, we're barely into the second weekends of the first two Chipmunk films in terms of equivalent take, but we're also moving away from disaster totals. With kids films, those daily totals could even increase a bit in the next two days.

Fourth place went to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which is not in as bad a situation as it might have looked a couple of days ago, but it's still a franchise on life support. With $4.6 million on Tuesday, it's now at $32 million total, which I'm sure Sony was thinking they'd get in the first three days, not the first seven. This is looking more and more like a missed opportunity, although $100 million domestic is certainly a possibility, depending on how next weekend shakes out.

It almost lost a spot to another film performing well under expectations, The Adventures of Tintin, which pulled in $4.6 million itself to reach $28 million. This was a drop of just 15% from Monday, befitting the younger audience, but it's probably coming through the other side of this week with about $50 million and not much steam left.

We Bought a Zoo hit sixth spot with $4.3 million, dropping just 18% thanks to its family/animal lovers' appeal, and now has $19 million total in five days. This is almost exactly the same story with Spielberg's other film of this week, War Horse, with brought in $4.1 million and has $19 million total, albeit in three fewer days. War Horse's story was in a big Christmas Day splash, though this is apparently fading with a 40% drop.

New Year's Eve will make it to New Year's Eve in the top 10 after all, though that's with just $1.7 million earned on Tuesday, and a hook that's tied into one of the deadest days of the year at the theater. Good thinking, Garry Marshall.

Ninth spot belongs to the also-ran of Christmas, The Darkest Hour, which brought in just $1.5 million and has just $6.5 million total. This proves that old truism that people “don't want to see cheap sci-fi movies at Christmas starring no one they're familiar with”. Summit really should have read the book for that one.

Finally, in tenth spot we have The Muppets, with $1 million on Tuesday and $77 million in the bank. Although it didn't capture the kids market like it had a chance to over the 12 days of Christmas, this week should at least get it a chance to run at $90 million.



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