24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Alvin and the Chipmunks

Box Office: 'Sherlock,' 'Chipmunks' sequels underperform [Video]

December 19, 2011 | 12:32 pm

Sherlock Holmes was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
There wasn't much holiday cheer at the box office this weekend, as two big-budget sequels came in far below industry expectations.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" was the No. 1 film with about $40 million in ticket sales, far short of the $62.9 million the first film raked in back in 2009 -- though the original did open over the busier Christmas weekend. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," the third picture in the animated series, also fell short of its predecessors, with around $23.5 million. The previous two installments each collected more than $40 million on their first weekends in theaters.

One bright spot was the performance of "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol," the fourth Tom Cruise action flick, which Paramount Pictures previewed on more than 400 Imax and large-format screens. In limited release, the film grossed $13 million -- a tally that may have been boosted by a six-minute prologue to next summer's "The Dark Knight Rises," which played in front of the movie in some locations.

What do this weekend's numbers mean for the holiday season at the box office? Check out this week's box office video report for details.


Photos: Top 10 movies at the box office

A 'Batman' bounce for 'Mission: Impossible'

A weak weekend for 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Chipmunks'

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: Noomi Rapace stars with Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows." Credit: Warner Bros.

'Chipwrecked': Alvin and other chipmunks are lost at sea, critics say

December 16, 2011 |  2:11 pm

When it comes to movie franchises, many series seem to stumble on the third film. Now the same fate as "The Godfather: Part III" and "Return of the Jedi" appears to have befallen "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked." The combined live-action and CGI adventure about singing furballs and their human caretaker being stranded on a desert island has not fared well at all with movie critics.

The Times' Betsy Sharkey says the "Chipmunks" series "may have finally run completely aground," with its latest installment lacking the "inspired silliness" of the previous films. Despite "Chipwrecked" boasting the comedic talents of Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate, Sharkey says, "their presence basically goes for naught, with any identifying traits or emotional range lost in the helium squeak of that trademark chipmunk sound." Sharkey also laments the film's pop song covers — until now a funny highlight of the series, but in this case "terribly tame."

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