Los Angeles: The fourth installment of the Tom Cruise starrer Mission: Impossible film franchise, 'Ghost Protocol', has topped the three-day New Year's weekend box office.

With an estimated USD 31.3 million gross according to early Sunday totals, the December 21 release is expected to surpass 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' as the top-grossing December 2011 film, reported a magazine.

Sherlock Holmes finished out the year strong, earning USD 22.1 million during the holiday haul. The animated sequel 'Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked' grabbed this weekend's third place spot, raking in USD 18.3 million.

Rounding out the New Year's Eve weekend top five were Warhorse (USD 16.94 million) and the Rooney Mara based-on-the-book pic 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo', which earned USD 16.8 million.