Tom Cruise must have been a very good boy last year. The once-struggling superstar is back in full force with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The fourth in the M:I franchise dominated the holidays, grossing $38.3 million over the long New Year's weekend for a worldwide total of $366.5 million.
Cruise's comeback is especially remarkable when you consider the scarily dismal state of the movie industry at large: over the holidays, the Hollywood Reporter released a shocking report revealing that overall movie attendance in 2011 was at a 16-year low. The upbeat numbers for Ghost Protocol was in large part due to increased ticket prices...and maybe a little to Tom Cruise's killer smile.
Other films with something to smile about include Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, which pulled in healthy numbers for a worldwide total of $242.5 million, and Chipwrecked, the groan-worthy Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel that has found a worldwide audience to the tune of $178.5 million.
December 31 also ended the eligibility period for films in the Oscars race (to qualify for a nomination a film must have opened on at least a couple of screens before the end of the year), and kicked off awards season. The Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2012.
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