Last weekend’s box office went to the franchises. While new release Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was able to nab the top spot, it did so with a gross of only $40 million, which is substantially less than what many believed the sequel to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes would rack up. Coming in second was fellow new release Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked (weekend gross of $23.5 million). For Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, coming in third was rather impressive, given the movie only came out in 425 theaters (300 of them IMAX); its opening weekend gross of $13.6 million gives the film a per-screen average of $32,000, putting it on solid footing for its expansion to wide release next weekend. Last weekend’s number one, New Year’s Eve (weekend gross $7.4 million, total gross $24.8 million) slipped to number four, while The Sitter, which debuted at number two last weekend, earned $4.4 million, bringing its total so far to $17.7 million and gaining it the number five spot.

Coming out on top of the limited releases was Roman Polanski’s Carnage, which earned $85,696, for a per-screen average of over $17,000. Cook County, the debut film of writer/director David Pomes, earned $8,049, and the documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel pulled in $3,050 (check out our exclusive interview with director Alex Stapleton here).

Hitting theaters in time for Christmas weekend are wide releases The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec. 20), The Adventures of Tintin (Dec. 21), We Bought a Zoo (Dec. 23), The Darkest Hour (Dec. 25) and War Horse (Dec. 25); Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will expand to wide release, hitting non-IMAX theaters across the country, on December 21st. Out in limited release over the weekend are Albert Nobbs, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Miss Minoes, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Newlyweds; Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War and Wim Wenders’ Pina will both start heir Oscar-qualifying theatrical runs over the weekend as well.