– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Happy New Year!

In its final weekend of 2011 and the first day of 2012, moviegoers flocked back to the theaters after all that holiday shopping.

Paramount Studio’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” took the top spot again with $31.25 million over the weekend, a slight increase of 5.9 percent from the previous weekend. Its total gross is now over $134 million domestically in the past three weeks.

In second place, Warner Brothers Pictures’ “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” earned a little over $22 million, an increase of 9.1 percent from the previous weekend. The movie’s total gross is a little over $132 million in the past three weeks.

Many parents took their children over the weekend to watch “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” as this sequel climbed to third place with $18.25 million. It is an improvement of 45 percent from the previous weekend and its total gross approaching the $100 million mark at $94.6 million.

The best improvement was with Steven Spielberg-directed “War Horse” into fourth place. The film earned $16.94 million, a huge jump of 125.4 percent from the previous weekend.

And finally in fifth place, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” improved with $16.3 million the past weekend, an increase of 27.8 percent. However, its total domestic gross is over $57 million, which is still off the mark for this $90 million-budgeted film.

All of the movies on the top ten list showed significant improvement from last weekend, which was the Christmas weekend. According to Box Office Mojo, the top 12 films earned $151 million, a slight improvement over the same weekend last year.

Finally, people did watch Warner Brothers Pictures’ “New Year’s Eve” during the weekend as it earned $6.741 million, an increase of 103.7 percent.

For next weekend, horror exorcism movie “The Devil Inside” will premiere in theaters next week for the start of 2012 movie year.

Have a happy new year.

Here is the WEEKEND BOX OFFICE REPORT for December 30-31, 2011-January 1, 2012:

1. Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol $31.25 million
2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $22.1 million
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked $18.25 million
4. War Horse $16.94 million
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $16.3 million
6. We Bought a Zoo $14.3 million
7. The Adventures of Tintin $12 million
8. New Year’s Eve $6.74 million
9. The Darkest Hour $4.3 million
10. The Descendants $3.65 million

Source: Box Office Mojo

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.