Cruise's new Mission stays top of US box office

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Tom Cruise is making his fourth outing in high octane action series Mission: Impossible

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Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol has topped the US box office chart for the second week running, according to studio estimates.

The action movie made $31.3m (£20.1m), which brings its US total to $134.1m since its release.

It marks the first $100 million hit with Cruise in the lead role since 2006's Mission: Impossible III.

The rest of this weekend's top-three remained unchanged, including Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows second.

The Robert Downey Jr film made $22.1m, raising its domestic total to $132.1m.

Family film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, was still at number three.

Steven Spielberg's War Horse was fourth.

David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo rounded out the top five with takings of $16.3m.

"This week was a pleasant surprise," said analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

"Last week, we were really pretty gloom and doom, but this final push at the end of the year was stronger than expected. It's a good way to head into 2012, with at least a little bit of momentum at the box office."

But the website also noted that 2011 admissions were down 4.2% on 2010's figures.

Big titles coming up in 2012 include The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Men In Black 3, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the latest Bond film, Skyfall.

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