"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" claims the top spot in North American box office this week. On its first weekend, the Robert Downey Jr.-starring action comedy rakes in $39.6 million. The result, however, is rather disappointing since the film is expected to gross at least $50 million in its opening week, judging that its first installment "Sherlock Holmes" opened with a massive $62.3 million in 2009.
Though so, Warner Bros. Pictures claims it didn't wish "Sherlok Holmes 2", which cost $125 million to produce, to open at the same level as the first movie. Dan Fellman, Warners president of domestic distribution, says, "We never had any intention of replicating those grosses. We have 9 days before we get to Christmas, and we will have substantial box office revenues by the time we get there. We will get to where we ended up with the first movie."
Family movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked" lands on the second place in its debut week. The live action-animated hybrid movie, which cost $80 million to produce, collects $23.2 million. 20th Century Fox senior vice president of distribution Chris Aronson says, "We will have a great multiple. The midweek numbers will be terrific as we move into the serious moviegoing stretch between Christmas and New Year's."
Another newcomer this week, "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol", secures the third place with $12.7 million. Being played in 425 IMAX screens before opening wide on December 21, the film grosses a massive $32,000 per screen. The big draw is partly because of the prologue of "The Dark Knight Rises" that is attached in front of the IMAX release of "M:I4". Paramount Pictures vice chairman Rob Moore says, "It feels like we are in strong shape."
Star-studded romantic comedy "New Year's Eve" and R-rated adult comedy "The Sitter" land on the fourth and fifth place respectively. The former collects $7.3 million, dropping 43% on its second weekend. The latter, meanwhile, grosses $4.6 million, falling 55% from last week.
Top Ten Movies at Box Office for December 16 - 18: