'Dragon Tattoo,' 'M:I:4' Ignite Tuesday Box Office

Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:30pm EST

Audiences returned to the movies Tuesday, delivering "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" another $3.7 million and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" $1.6 million, according to early studio estimates.

After a successful limited debut last weekend, "M:I4" opened in wide release at 5 p.m. at about 3,400 locations in the U.S. and Canada. "Dragon Tattoo" premiered two hours later at 2,914 theaters to an A grade from moviegoer research firm Cinemascore.

"Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" is enjoying a strong run. The Paramount/Skydance movie opened in limited release -- 300 IMAX and 125 other large-screen locations -- on Friday.

It grossed $12.8 million over the weekend, and its cumulative total now stands at $19.1 million.

Also read: Christmas Crush: Too Many Big Films Crowd Soft Holiday Box Office

As for the R-rated "Dragon Tattoo," Sony had planned to release the film on Wednesday, but announced Dec. 13 that it would open the movie at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Also read: Paramount Seized on a Big Platform for Limited 'M:I4' Bow -- And It Worked

With that opening time, many theaters were able to show the two-hour-40-minute movie twice, although some only screened it once on Tuesday.

With business slow all through December, exhibitors are hoping for crowds this holiday weekend: On Wednesday, Paramount opens Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin." On Friday, Fox premieres its comedy "We Bought A Zoo." DreamWorks opens another Spielberg movie, "War Horse" Sunday.

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