'Mission: Impossible' sequel spends third week in top spot
Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” nabbed $46.2 million from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2, bringing its international cume to a terrif $227.6 million as it spent a third consecutive week atop the overseas box office.The pic, with a global tally of around $365 million through Jan. 2, is on track to become the franchise’s highest-grossing installment, according to Par. The second “Mission” topped out at approximately $545 million worldwide in 2000. Large-screen exhib Imax has helped boost totals for “Ghost Protocol.” The film’s Imax presentation has collected north of $46 million worldwide, of which $13 million comes from international Imax wickets. Par released the film domestically for an exclusive week-early launch in Imax (the pic’s domestic Imax tally has reached $33.1 million). “Ghost Protocol” opened in Blighty on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), topping the local B.O. with $12.7 million in its first seven days. (That’s nearly 20% better than the third “Mission: Impossible’s” initial-week gross in the U.K.) The pic also held pole position in holdover Asian territories, including Japan and South Korea, where after three go-rounds it has cumed $35.7 million and $34.8 million, respectively. Par has yet to release “Ghost Protocol” in several key markets, such as Italy, Argentina and China, where the pic is set to bow late this month. Because of the government-imposed blackout holiday period — during which only local product is permitted — China’s Oscar foreign-lingo submission, “The Flowers of War,” has had room to grow locally. The pic, which bowed Dec. 26, has scored $83 million at the Chinese B.O. in its first 17 days. “Flowers” stands as the country’s sixth-highest grossing film of all time.