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Whisper Numbers: Is first place Mission: Impossible for The Devil Inside?

Hollywood ushers in the first weekend of 2012 with one new release at the box office. The low-budget horror film The Devil Inside [DVNSD] aims to take down the big-budget franchise tentpole Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [MISS4], the number one movie for the last two weeks. Whoever wins, Paramount wins since the studio distributes both films. Tom Cruise has been winning back old fans who are calling the fourth Mission: Impossible the best in the series. The buzz should propel Ghost Protocol to $16 million, which could be enough to top the weekend.

The R-rated The Devil Inside shot documentary-style is the latest film about exorcism. The Rite grossed $14.8 million last January, while The Last Exorcism captured $20.4 million in August 2010. Though The Devil Inside opens in 20% fewer theaters at 2285, there’s virtually no competition in the horror genre. The Devil Inside could scare up $15 million and possibly more.

After opening softer than expected, both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows [HOLM2] and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked [ALVN3] have held long legs through the holiday season. Sherlock Holmes looks to wrap up another $11 million and the Chipmunks another $10 million for their fourth weekend.

Award contenders War Horse [WHORS] and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [TGRLW] will divide adult moviegoers for the fifth spot. Both films have racked up impressive holds on strong word of mouth which should continue with around $8.5 million for their third outing.

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy [TTSS] has also generated word of mouth during its four weeks of limited release. Excellent reviews should attract the older target audience. Expanding wide to 809 theaters, the spy thriller could uncover $5 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): DVNSD, MISS4, HOLM2, ALVN3, WHORS, TGRLW, TTSS

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, January 5, 2012 @ 03:36 PM 6240 views

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