Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (read our review) topped the box office over the weekend grossing $40 million. It’s not a bad number – but it was less than the $62 million that the first film grossed in 2009. It could be Robert Downey Jr fatigue, as the star has been in six films since he made his “comeback” with Iron Man in 2008, and all of these (excluding maybe The Soloist) were heavily marketed, with the star being front and center in every campaign.

It might also be that audiences still appear to be apathetic to most big releases over the last few months, finding others ways to spend their hard earned cash. Time will tell if Holmes reaches the first film’s $209 million gross ($524 million worldwide), if it doesn’t then this could be the last time we see Downey Jr and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson.

Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked also lagged behind its predecessors. The family film banked $23.5 million – a far cry from 2007’s Alvin and The Chipmunks $44 million (on its way to $217 million) and 2009’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $48 million (it topped out at $219 million).

The big news this week was Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The Tom Cruise action film (read our review) grossed $13 million in just 425 IMAX locations. The Mission Impossible franchise has been going since 1996 (the 1960s if you count the television series) and while the last film was a disappointment, grossing ‘just’ $134 million ($397 million worldwide) it has been a steady run for Cruise since that original Brian DePalma effort. It will be interesting to see how this film does when it expands, because it was aided this week by having The Dark Knight Rises prologue attached – a neat little marketing ploy.

New Year’s Eve dipped about 40% from last weekend’s lacklustre launch. The all-star rom-com banked $7.4 million over the three days, upping its cumulative gross to a smidgen under $25 million.

The Sitter dropped over 50% from its debut, grossing just $4.4 million, for an unimpressive $17.7 million total.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 scored another $4.3 million and upped its cume to $266 million. The vampire romance is now closing in on $700 million worldwide.

Young Adult (read our review) scored $3.6 million in less than a thousand locations. The film expanded from a limited run last weekend and the Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody reteam should do well as it widens and gains some awards traction.

Hugo grossed an additional $3.6 million, upping its total score to $39 million, a lot less than its $150 million+ budget.

Arthur Christmas delivered $3.6 million worth of presents and brought its total to just over $38 million worth of green.

Speaking of green, The Muppets rounded out the top ten, bringing in $3.4 million. The Muppet comeback vehicle has driven its gross to over $71 million, about $25 million more than its production budget.

George Clooney’s well received The Descendants brought in another $3.3 million for a $28 million gross, but dropped out of the top ten. More money is on the way for this awards magnet, which is still playing in less than a thousand theaters.

That’s it for now. See you at the movies.

Source: Box Office Mojo