Jan 7, 2012

2011′s box office woes begone — it looks like Paramount may have another Paranormal Activity-sized hit on its hands!

The studio’s new possession movie, The Devil Inside, which was acquired for under $1 million, grossed an absolutely gigantic $16.9 million on its opening day yesterday, with $2 million of that coming from midnight showings. (And to think I was worried that my $20 million prediction — on the high end of prognostiators’ guesses – was too high!)

Despite a truly awful “F” CinemaScore grade, the demonic horror movie may take in about $35 million, which would easily offset any promotional costs. Even if the movie plummets in the subsequent days and weeks (it will), The Devil Inside will undoubtedly provide Paramount with a hefty profit, and it’s strong opening bodes well for the 2012 box office — or at least for the exorcism genre!

The rest of the Top 5 — all 2011 leftovers — seem to be holding very well since last weekend. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol finished in second place with $6.2 million, and it may earn an additional $20 million by Sunday’s end. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows came in third with $4.3 million. It may find a better-than-expected $14 million this weekend.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo notched a $3.5 million Friday, which may lead to an $11.5 million weekend, while War Horse earned $2.6 million and may gallop away with $9 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

In ninth place, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which expanded into 809 theaters this weekend, found a sturdy $1.7 million. It should earn about $5.5 million.

1. The Devil Inside — $16.9 million
2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol — $6.2 million
3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows — $4.3 million
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — $3.5 million
5. War Horse — $2.6 million
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