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New Year Weekend Box Office: It's Mission: Possible Once Again for Ghost Protocol

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By Chris Kavan - 01/02/12 at 10:27 PM CT

The year might not have gone out with the bang Hollywood wanted, but it was a solid final tally from one year to the next.

As expected, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol held on to its first-place position. Taking in $29.6 million over the weekend (and an additional $8.7 million on Monday) it leaped past M:I III with a $141.2 million total. It should have little problem surpassing the $181 million of the original Mission: Impossible in the coming weeks, as competition looks to be limited for awhile.

The Deja Vu doesn't end there, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Ship-wrecked also wound up back in second and third place respectively. Holmes took in $21 million (up nearly 4%) over the weekend and an extra $5.5 Monday to wind up with $136.5 million. It may have been passed by Mission: Impossible for best December grosses, but at least Holmes is making a good run at matching the original total, though it still looks as if it will fall short when it ends its run. Ship-Wrecked, meanwhile, should be able to pass the $100 million mark as it currently stands at $92.7 million. Still, it's a far cry from the $140 million the original made through the same time period.

Fighting it out in the fourth/fifth place spot, David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won the weekend battle versus Steven Spielberg's War Horse, but falls to fifth if you include Monday in the total. After a limited run on Christmas, War Horse took a big hit in attendance earlier in the week, but came on strong on the weekend. With a 91.5% increase, it has taken in $42.5 million and will soon pass Munich if you're keeping track of Spielberg grosses. Dragon Tattoo has now taking in $60 million and despite the somewhat disappointing numbers, the studio has announced that The Girl Who Played with Fire is forthcoming, no matter where the final grosses sit. Whether Fincher will be back is still up in the air, but I certainly hope he returns.

Rounding out the rest - We Bought a Zoo survived a rough opening to bring in a respectable $13.2 million. The 41% increase is the second-best, second weekend bump for a movie in 3,000+ theaters (somehow Cheaper by the Dozen 2 holds the record at 55.6%) attributed to good word of mouth from happy families. The feel-good movie has brought in $44 million since opening.

The Adventures of TinTin also jumped 17.6% from last week, but the $50.8 million isn't an eye-opening number, though the world-wide total continues to be much stronger. It appears War Horse is going to win the race between Spielberg projects.

Not surprisingly, a movie titled New Year's Day had the biggest bump - a massive 93% increase. Yet that was only good enough to land the movie in eighth place with $6.4 million and its $47.4 million total is still less than half of Valentine's Day's total of $110.5 million, and since the holiday has come and gone, this movie is probably going to do likewise.

This week, with only the horror film The Devil Inside opening in wide release, expect more deja vu coming at you. I don't see much change in the top 5, unless audiences are hungry for yet another exorcism-based film.

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