Mission Impossible faces off with Sherlock and Alvin
The animated live-action sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked expands into cinemas in Russia and Europe this weekend but it may be impossible to knock Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol off the top spot.
The Chipmunks sequel topped the box office in Denmark, Finland and Mexico but is not matching the previous movie's numbers. Last year, Squeakquel snagged a hefty $443 million.
On the other hand, Mission: Impossible 4, starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, is performing better than its previous installment in 2006, and opened with a strong $69.5 million internationally.
The action thriller could hold its number-one position in several markets including Australia and Japan as well as hit the top in its debuts in the UK and Brazil, thus maintaining its overall position in the top spot.
Its closest rival is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, number one in the UK, Sweden and Italy and expanding into a dozen more markets, including in Asia and Europe. The detective thriller, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, will try to unseat MI, the spy thriller.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, however, will appeal to kids and families on holiday break, so it should play well.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is also likely to take the top position in North America, but with the crowded holiday box office, the film probably won't match the $69 million international opening.
The US debuts five other big releases this week, including David Fincher's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Daniel Craig, Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, the computer-animated Adventures of Tintin by Steven Spielberg, and also from the director, the drama War Horse on Christmas Day.