Actor Jeremy Renner, actor Tom Cruise, and director Brad Bird attend the "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" U.S. premiere after party at the Museum of Modern Art on December 19, 2011 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images/AFP)
LOS ANGELES, December 26, 2011 (AFP) - Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" topped the North American box office over the long Christmas weekend, raking in $46.2 million, industry estimates showed Monday.
The action film, the fourth in the "MI" series, has thus far taken in $78.6 million, according to Exhibitor Relations -- showing that Cruise can still draw a major audience after several box office disappointments.
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" -- a sequel to the 2009 film "Sherlock Holmes" about the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- slipped from first to second place, taking in $31.8 million from Friday to Monday.
In third with $20 million was "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," the third animated film about the singing chipmunks.
The hotly anticipated "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -- the Hollywood adaptation of the wildly popular Stieg Larsson novel, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara -- took in $19.4 million in its debut weekend for fourth place.
Since its mid-week release, the film has grossed $27.7 million.
"The Adventures of Tintin," the story of the beloved Belgian boy reporter from director Steven Spielberg, came in fifth place with $16.1 million in US and Canadian ticket sales.
Family film "We Bought A Zoo" starring Matt Damon finished in sixth place, taking in $15.6 million, followed by "War Horse" -- also from Spielberg -- in seventh place at $15 million.
Thriller "The Darkest Hour" opened in eighth place with $5.5 million, and star-studded holiday romance "New Year's Eve" earned $4.95 million for ninth place.
Rounding out the top 10 was "The Descendants" starring George Clooney, which grossed $3.4 million over the four-day weekend.
Final figures were due out Tuesday.