It turns out things at the domestic box office weren't as disappointing as they initially seemed on Christmas morning. Weekend winner 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' grabbed $46.2 million over the four-day holiday, an estimate that is nearly $20 million larger than the $26.5 million that was reported for the three-day frame. The fourth installment of the Tom Cruise franchise might wind up being the most lucrative yet -- proof that perhaps audiences have forgotten/forgiven Cruise for all that couch-jumping hysteria that clouded the box office of 'Mission: Impossible III.'
Elsewhere, 'War Horse' opened on Christmas Day to strong receipts. The Steven Spielberg-directed Oscar contender pulled in an estimated $15 million between Christmas and Dec. 26 thanks to an older crowd, 31 percent of whom were over 50.

Spielberg's 'The Adventures of Tintin' didn't fare as well; the motion-capture adventure earned $16.1 million over the four-day weekend, with ticket sales only reaching $24.1 million since release on Dec. 21 -- or just $4 million more than weekend two of 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' grabbed over Christmas.

As for the other new releases: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' earned just over $19 million during the four-day holiday, while 'We Bought a Zoo' grabbed just over $15 million. Both are being looked at as disappointments, but with a long holiday week and no new releases next weekend -- plus excellent word-of-mouth -- both films could have long legs.

That won't be the case of the unscreened-for-critics 'Darkest Hour'; the alien invasion film was D.O.A on Christmas Day, earning just $5.5 million.

EARLER: 'Mission: Impossible' Takes Christmas Crown

[via LAT/Company Town]

[Photo: DreamWorks]

Follow Moviefone on Twitter
Like Moviefone on Facebook

categories Movies, Box Office