High-profile sequels get early start on weekend B.O.

Paramount ignited its week-early domestic run of ”Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” in high fashion, with the pic earning $1.1 million from just 425 large-format midnight and late-night screenings.

By comparison, the last ”Mission: Impossible” earned the same amount from more than 2,000 midnight runs.

Warner Bros. also screened this weekend’s wide release of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” late night Thursday for a total $1.25 million from 1,650 locations. (The first “Sherlock” opened Christmas Day 2009 without late-night showtimes.)

Par, which partnered mostly with Imax, released ”Ghost Protocol” a week before its nationwide release on Dec 21. exclusively at large-format houses — a first-ever strategy meant to appeal that format’s core fanboy audience. ”Ghost Protocol” expands over the Christmas frame to more than 3,000 Stateside engagements.

The large-format engagement benefited from an average $3.50 to $5 premium ticket surcharge, however.

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