Dec 23, 2011

The Tom Cruise career resuscitation is in full force.

After testing fan loyalty with couch-jumping antics and tired film vehicles like "Knight and Day," audiences are flocking to accept Cruise's latest mission. "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" continued to lead the crowded holiday box office through Thursday.

Paramount's well-reviewed action sequel racked up $6.4 million in 3,455 locations, according to studio estimates. That brings its domestic total to $32.4 million. "Ghost Protocol" has earned $96 million internationally through Wednesday.

Buoyed by strong word of mouth,"M:I:4" is on pace to gross around $40 million for its six day holiday period.

Also read: Sagging Box Office Looks for a Christmas Miracle

After starting slow, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" has picked up steam this week. The Robert Downey Jr. sleuthing sequel earned $4.8 million on Thursday in 3,703 theaters. The Warner Bros. release has now earned $58.8 million domestically.

Warner Bros., meanwhile, is reportedly griping about the way that rival studios are tallying their box-office totals this weekend. The studio claims that Sony -- which released "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" Tuesday -- and Paramount, are bundling Tuesday evening's numbers in with their Wednesday totals.

Also holding steady is Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," which earned $3.9 million on Thursday, bringing its domestic take to $36.9 million. The family film is showing in 3,726 theaters.

"Dragon Tattoo" was just slightly behind the chipmunk sequel, earning $3.3 million on Thursday. The David Fincher film has grossed $8.4 million domestically. Sony thinks that the film's number will pick up toward the tail-end of the weekend, when holiday moviegoers are looking for some more adult fare to go with their spiked eggnog.

The adaptation of the Stieg Larsson bestseller should gross around $35 million at 2,914 locations through Monday.

After dominating the international box office for months, Paramount's other tentpole hopeful, "The Adventures of Tintin," is taking longer to find its stateside sea legs. The Steven Spielberg-directed animated film earned 2,4 million on Wednesday, bringing its domestic total to just north of $8 million. The film has earned $239.1 million at the worldwide box office through Sunday.

The adaptation of the popular Herge comics is expected to make just short of $30 million over the holiday period.

On Friday, the already overstuffed box office will reach the point of bursting. Fox’s PG-rated comedy “We Bought a Zoo” opens wide in about 3,000 theaters, while GK Films’ R-rated “In the Land of Blood and Honey” opens at three arthouses.

On Sunday, Disney opens DreamWorks' Spielberg-directed “War Horse,” and Summit will unveil its PG-13 sci-fi thriller “The Darkest Hour.”

If that doesn't revive the box office doldrums, you can't say Hollywood didn't try.
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