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'Devil Inside' helps theaters exorcise demons

Still of Suzan Crowley and Isabella Rossi in the 2012 film, 'The Devil Inside.' (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

January 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
"The Devil Inside" enticed throngs of moviegoers back into theaters this weekend.

The fright flick brought in a surprising $34.5 million in its opening weekend.

The low-budget tale about exorcism surpassed industry expectations and reversed the disappointing trend of recent weeks at the box office.

Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" was bumped to No.2, bringing in $20.5 million.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" came in third with $14.1 million.

The top 10 films of the weekend were:

1. "The Devil Inside," $34.5 million.
2. "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," $20.5 million ($27.7 million international).
3. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," $14.1 million ($43.4 million international).
4. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," $11.3 million ($12.6 million international).
5. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," $9.5 million ($30.1 million international).
6. "War Horse," $8.6 million.
7. "We Bought a Zoo," $8.5 million.
8. "The Adventures of Tintin," $6.6 million ($5.3 million international).
9. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," $5.8 million.
10. "New Year's Eve," $3.3 million ($5.3 million international).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.