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]

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