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December 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

After two back-to-back weekends of sluggish business, the box office is expected to bounce back as schools let out for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period. Three sequels will be making their debuts: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Predictions from box-office pundits are all over the place. Many had figured that the second Sherlock Holmes movie featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law would earn $50-55 million, but Daily Variety reported on Friday that the movie is expected to wind up “in the low-to-mid $40 million range.” (The original opened two years ago with $62.3 million.) And while some analysts had figured that the latest Chipmunks flick would earn around $35-40 million, Variety quoted its sources as saying that it will probably wind up with around $30 million. What’s hard to predict is how well the fourth Mission: Impossible movie will do. It’s opening almost exclusively on IMAX screens — 425 of them — before going into general release next Wednesday. There’s no precedent for such an opening. It could earn as much as $15 million from those venues alone, some pundits are predicting, but they’re hedging their bets on that one.