Please note that percentage changes for the current chart are this weekend's 4-day grosses versus 3-day grosses for the previous weekend.
Leading the way once again this weekend was Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The well-received action sequel starring Tom Cruise grossed $38.20 million, which was down 13 percent from last weekend's four-day frame. The marketplace in general held up well compared to Christmas weekend, though both Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows experienced weaker percentage holds compared to many other films as moviegoers spread out their choices more so this weekend than last weekend. With that said, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol has already grossed an excellent $141.19 million in 18 days and should remain a factor at the box office throughout the month of January thanks in part to both strong word of mouth and continued IMAX grosses. Thus far IMAX grosses are responsible for $33.1 million of the film's domestic grosses.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows held steady in second place with a four-day take of $26.89 million. The Warner Bros. sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. was down 13.5 percent from last weekend's four-day frame. After a much slower than expected start, A Game of Shadows has in turn held up nicely over the past two weeks. The film's 18-day total stands at $136.91 million, which now places the film 18 percent behind the pace of 2009's Sherlock Holmes. A Game of Shadows should continue to shrink the percentage gap between the two films going forward.
Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was up 10 percent over last weekend's four-day frame to take third place with $21.49 million. New Year's weekend is traditionally a strong frame for family films and that was certainly the case once again this year. Much like A Game of Shadows, Chipwrecked has held up well on the heels of its softer than expected opening weekend performance in mid-December. Chipwrecked has grossed $97.85 million in 18 days, placing it 33.5 percent behind the pace of 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Sony's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was down just 1.5 percent from last weekend's four-day frame to finish in fourth with a four-day haul of $19.19 million. The David Fincher directed remake didn't light the box office on fire last weekend, but is holding up nicely thus far (even when factoring in the positive effect of the holidays on holding power). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has grossed $59.95 million in 13 days, placing it 7 percent behind the pace of 2005's Fun with Dick and Jane (which also opened the Wednesday before Christmas).
War Horse rounded out the weekend's top five with a four-day gross of $18.06 million. This weekend served as the film's first full weekend of release after opening on Sunday last weekend. The Disney released Steven Spielberg directed DreamWorks film was up 24 percent compared to last weekend's two-day start. War Horse continues to exceed expectations with a nine-day gross of $44.09 million, which places it 29 percent behind the pace of 2010's True Grit.
While there were no new wide releases this weekend, there were some notable platform releases over the frame. The most impressive of the group was The Weinstein Company's The Iron Lady, which grossed $285,809 from 4 locations, giving it a strong per-location average of $71,452. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics' A Separation grossed $80,518 from 3 locations, while Focus' Pariah grossed $65,348 from 4 locations. Respective per-location averages were $26,839 for A Separation and $16,337 for Pariah.
In other platform news Tinker, Tailor, Solider Spy remained strong with a four-day take of $1.41 million from 57 locations. That gave the awards season hopeful from Focus a four-day per-location average of $24,735. Tinker, Tailor, Solider Spy has grossed $4.28 million to date.
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