By Bill Wine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This time the mission was impossible.

That’s because the set-in-Rome demonic-possession thriller, The Devil Inside, the only new wide release of the weekend, scared up nearly $35 million on its debut weekend to finish first at the box office.

That knocked the box office leader of the last two weekends, the sequel Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, out of first place. The Tom Cruise vehicle took in just over $20 million to place second.

Third place went to the holdover sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which totaled $14 million.

Rounding out the top five were The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, with $11 million and $9 million, respectively.

Following a sluggish holiday season at theaters, the movie year got off to a promising start, with industry-wide totals well above expectations for early January.

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