The Devil Inside frightened people inside, in theaters that is, for 2012’s first horror film and first #1 of the year, surprising studios, box office forecasters, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Director Brad Bird and actor/producer Tom Cruise’s action-adventure thriller was exorcised from the #1 spot that it possessed for two weekends in a row to #2 in its fourth weekend at the box office.
The sequel continued to attract audiences as it grossed $19.868 million at 3,555 theaters, 100 more theaters than the previous weekend, and is $227,388 from surpassing Mission: Impossible‘s $457.696 million worldwide gross with its $457.468 million (it passed M:I III‘s $397.85 million but is far from M:I II‘s $546.388 million). Holiday hits-and-misses #3 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows ($13.689 million), #4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  ($11.364 million) and #5 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked ($9.496 million) all stayed in the top five at the weekend box office.
Though The Devil Inside was not screened for critics and received more negative than positive reviews, the William Brent Bell-written and directed film (also written by producer Matthew Peterman) premiered at #1 to $33.732 million domestically at 2,285 theaters. Forecasters including Paramount Studios, the movie’s distributor, projected the $1 million-budgeted horror flick to gross from possibly $8 million to $23 million over the weekend but it shocked insiders with its $16.9 million opening on Friday. According to Paramount, 59% of audiences for The Devil Inside were under 25 and 54% were male.
The alien invasion in Moscow film, The Darkest Hour, slipped to #10 after two weekends at #9, its debut spot. Director Chris Gorak’s sci-fi movie with action and horror grossed $3.124 million, a 25% decrease, at 2,163 theaters in its third weekend. It has currently grossed $18.69 million domestically and $8.303 million internationally, a total of $26.993 million against its $30 million budget.
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