The fourth instalment in the Mission Impossible franchise has taken the number one spot at the US box office over the four-day Christmas weekend.

Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise, made $46.2m (£29.5m) and pushed Sherlock Holmes into second spot.

The action movie came in third place last week after making its debut at a limited number of screens.

Steven Spielberg’s Tintin and War Horse entered the chart at five and seven respectively.

The director’s motion capture version of the Belgian boy adventurer, which has proved a box office hit around the world, made a modest $16.1m (£10.2m) on its Christmas opening in North America.

Meanwhile, Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s book about a horse who is sent to fight during World War I, began business on Sunday and took $15m (£9.5m).

But both films were outshone by the US version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with entered the chart at number four.

The gritty film, directed by David Fincher and based on the first book of late Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, made $19.4m (£12.4m), despite not being feel-good Christmas fare.

But the movie was beaten to third place by family animation Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which raked in a total of $20m (£12.7m).

Other new movies inside the top 10 were We Bought a Zoo – starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson – in sixth place, and Darkest Hour at eight.