Tom Cruise's latest mission won the holiday weekend in a year that has seen some fairly silent nights at movie theaters. Studio estimates Sunday put Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol No. 1 with $26.5 million domestically in its first weekend in full release.
Well-reviewed movies from Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin), David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Cameron Crowe (We Bought a Zoo) - with casts including Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Daniel Craig - opened with modest to weak results. Dragon Tattoo came in fourth, with $13 million; Tintin was fifth, with $9.1 million; and We Bought a Zoo was sixth, with $7.8 million.
Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows fell to No. 2 in its second weekend, with $17.8 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked fell from second to third, with $13.3 million.
Despite predictions from studio executives that 2011 could be a record-setter, domestic revenue was stuck at a sluggish pace all year. Hollywood should finish the year with $10.1 billion domestically, down 4.5 percent from 2010, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
Domestic attendance for 2011 will close out at about 1.27 billion, down 5.3 percent from the previous year and the lowest since 1995, when admissions totaled 1.26 billion.
- Associated Press
The holiday song with the most radio airplay Oct. 1 through Dec. 14, says the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers was "Sleigh Ride," for the second straight year. It aired 154,327 times, says ASCAP, which tracks songs written or cowritten by its members.
"Sleigh Ride" was written by Leroy Anderson on a hot summer day in 1946 in Woodbury, Conn. No. 2 this year was "Winter Wonderland," and No. 3 was "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)."
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Mel Gibson's three-decade marriage ended Friday when a Superior Court judge in L.A. finalized his divorce from his wife, Robyn. Nearly all details were confidential. The two have seven children together, but only their 12-year-old son is a minor. The divorce was much more low-key than Gibson's custody battle with Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva, whom Gibson agreed in August to pay $750,000 to settle a bitter dispute and split custody of their young daughter. - AP