‘Mission: Impossible’ lights up early holiday B.O.

Paramount pic grosses $8.6 million Wednesday

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” easily is the early B.O. leader this Christmas weekend, having collected $8.6 million on Wednesday for a domestic cume of $25.7 million.

Paramount launched the film last weekend exclusively at large-screen houses.

In second place, Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” collected $4.3 million Wednesday, pushing its Stateside cume to $54 million in less than two weeks of playtime. Sony’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” meanwhile, followed with $3.6 million from its opening day, though latenight Tuesday screenings boosted the pic’s total cume to $5.1 million.

The B.O.’s current top trio are expected to stay on top through Monday, but it seems “Mission” could pull ahead, depending on how the Christmas Eve slowdown affects the overall market.

Specialized pics like “Dragon Tattoo” will fare better Christmas Eve — historically a B.O. trough — than more all-audience fare, such as “Mission” and “Sherlock Holmes.”

On the family front, Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” did better ($3.5 million) than Par’s new entry “The Adventures of Tintin,” which bowed midweek with $2.3 million. Theater traffic for family-targeted films could be sluggish through the weekend, though business should increase significantly by mid-afternoon on Sunday.

“Alvin” so far has tallied almost $33 million domestically; “Tintin,” $5.6 million, including last week’s Canadian grosses.

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