Can Mission:Impossible Hang On To Number 1 To Close Out The Year? Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions, Weekend of December 30th, 2011

No new openings this weekend, which means the heavy hitters from last weekend are looking to due battle once again for bragging rights. Lisbeth Salander vs Ethan Hunt vs Sherlock Holmes, which some chipmunks and horses thrown in for good measure. Here’s how I predict the weekend will turn out:

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol should have no problem holding onto the top spot for another weekend, thanks to that often elusive combination of strong word of mouth and critical acclaim (there’s also the fact that The Dark Knight Rises trailer is playing in front of IMAX versions of the film, as well). Look for Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol to hold strong in first with $27 million.

Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows may not be the blockbuster that the first film was, but its had steady business since it arrived in theatres. With not new films debuting, it should be able to maintain second place for another week with $18 million.

There’s no question that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a letdown last weekend, but I’m going to lay the blame on the fact that it was Christmas and just not the type of film that would open well over that holiday weekend. On that note, I’m going out on a bit of a limb and predicting that the film will rise to number three with $15 million, virtually the same number it opened with.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked has become the family film of choice the last few weekends, and should maintain its audience. It will be neck and neck with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and I’m predicting we’ll see it wind up in fourth place with $14 million.

Fifth spot is the real crapshoot, and it’s between Steven Spielberg and…Steven Spielberg. In one of those Hollywood rarities, the director has two films currently in market – the motion-captured/animated Adventures of Tintin and the Oscar-seeking drama War Horse. The former didn’t really draw an audience last weekend, while the latter’s theatre count is increasing. On that note, look for War Horse to close out the top five with $13.5 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $27 million
2) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – $18 million
3) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – $15 million
4) Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $14 million
5) War Horse – $13.5 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the last box office prediction of 2011 turns out!

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