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Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. and Noomi Rapace appear in a still from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. - Provided courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment / Daniel Smith

'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' takes No. 1 spot in Friday box office

12/17/2011 by Olivia Allin

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadow" took the top spot in Friday's Box Office.

The mystery thriller sequel earned $14.7 million on its opening night, with an estimated $40 million opening, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film's opening was softer than the previous installment, "Sherlock Holmes," which earned $62.3 million when it opened on Christmas Day in 2009.

The first "Sherlock Holmes" film introduced the main characters detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his sidekick Dr. John Watson (Jude Law). The sequel sees them investigating the death of the Crown Prince of Austria.

In "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," Holmes teams up with a Gypsy fortune teller named Sim, played by Rapace. The detective and Watson travel the world to try and stop the evil Professor James Moriarty, played by Jared Harris of "Mad Men" fame. Rachel McAdams reprises her role as Holmes' love interest, Irene Adler.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked" came in second in Friday's box office, earning $6.8 million. The first installment earned $13.3 million opening on the same Friday in 2007.

The 3D family film is expected to gross up to $25 million over the weekend, far less than the $44.3 earned by the original and $48.9 for the sequel, which opened in 2009.

In third place, was Tom Cruise's return in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," which grossed $4.1 million from 425 IMAX and large-format theaters, according to Box Office Mojo. The spy flick has a projected $12 million opening and will open in theaters nationwide on December 21. "Young Adult," which opened nationwide on Friday, earned an estimated $1.1 million from 986 theaters, landing in seventh place in the box office.

The comedy stars Charlize Theron as a young adult fiction writer who returns to her home town to win back her high school boyfriend, who is now happily married with kids.

The film was the second film collaboration between director Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, who worked together on the 2007 hit "Juno."

"Carnage" also opened on Friday, in just 5 theaters domestically, but has already earned $9.8 million internationally.

The film, which is based on the play by Yasmina Reza, "The God of Carnage," follows two sets of parents who organize a "cordial" meeting after their sons are involved in a fight at school which leaves one child with broken teeth. The talk goes awry as the adults reveal their less civilized sides.

Winslet appears opposite Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz as Nancy and Alan Cowan, while Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly portray the victim's parents, Penelope and Michael Longstreet.

Watch the trailers from this week's releases of "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "Carnage," "Young Adult" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" below.

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