17 December 2011 1:42 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Mission: Impossible IV – Ghost Protocol

Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law/Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows Underwhelms: Box Office

The silver lining at the North American box office this weekend is the Brad Bird/Tom Cruise $140 million-budgeted combo Mission: Impossible IV – Ghost Protocol, which has raked in an impressive, IMAX-boosted $4.6 million — including $1m from Thursday midnight showings — at only 425 locations (300 of which IMAX theaters). As per The Hollywood Reporter, Ghost Protocol should bring in $12 million by Sunday evening. If so, that would represent an outstanding, even considering the IMAX surcharges, $28,400 per-theater average.

For comparison's sake, Mission: Impossible III earned $47.74 million at 4,054 theaters in July 2006 (approx. $58 million today), averaging $11,776 per site (approx. $14,000 today). At a little more than one tenth of the number of theaters, Ghost Protocol is expected to take in more than one fifth of the inflation-adjusted gross of its predecessor. »

- Zac Gille

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