“Sherlock Holmes,” “Chipmunks” off to slow box-office starts


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Box office success for the new “Sherlock Holmes” movie isn’t so elementary, my dear Watson.

Despite the introduction of chief nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Hess) and the return of the bulk of the creative team, Guy Ritchie’s “Game of Shadows” is off to a slower start than its immediate predecessor according to Friday box office figures. THR says that the bombastic sequel has pulled in an estimated $15 million, putting it on track for a $42-$45M opening.

The original “Sherlock,” a much more enjoyable affair (in my humble opinion), opened to $62.3M in 2009. But reviews for “Shadows” haven’t been nearly as favorable … and the sequel has stiff competition in Brad Bird’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” which is off to a red-hot start in limited release.

Paramount’s sequel, opening on IMAX screens ahead of its Dec. 21 wide release, nabbed an estimated $4.6M on 425 screens. Analysts believe that the inclusion of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” prologue ahead of “Ghost Protocol” helped boost the “Mission” numbers. But we’ll see how the sequel performs on its own in wider release.

Elsewhere, the third “Alvin and the Chipmunks” got off to a relatively slow start, given the previous films’ successes. It earned $7 million on Friday, targeting a $13M weekend.

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