Comfortably positioned atop the pack, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" shot to the number one spot at the box office over the weekend of December 16-18, 2011.
The Guy Ritchie directed sequel starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr pulled in $14.7 million on Friday and $15 million on Saturday while expected to garner a total of $40 million during its first weekend of release.
Situated in the runner-up slot is a fellow theatrical newcomer, as family friendly film "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" nabbed $16.7 million during its first two nights in cinemas while trending towards an approximate $23.5 million weekend take.
Rounding out the top five at the box office in estimated weekend totals are the Tom Cruise spearheaded action caper "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" ($13.3 million), followed by the star-laden ensemble picture "New Year's Eve" ($7.4 million) and Jonah Hill's comedy "The Sitter" ($4.4 million).
Also of note, the just-released Charlize Theron dark comedy "Young Adult" finds itself in the seventh position while on track to close out opening weekend with $3.5 million.