What’s better than a white Christmas? Try a green one. Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol handily won the holiday weekend at the box office, with its four-day estimate at $46.2 million. But what’s even more impressive is the earlier $17.1 million the Tom Cruise action flick quietly pulled in during a limited, mostly IMAX release starting Dec. 16. It was certainly a welcome boon to the movie’s bottom line — but also a strategic move that Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, credits with creating positive word of mouth that helped the movie when it made its way into the megaplexes on Dec. 21. ”From the start, Brad Bird was committed to shooting the film in IMAX,” says Moore, referring to the fourth installment’s director, who made his live-action debut with Ghost Protocol after helming Pixar’s animated hits The Incredibles and Ratatouille. ”He was confident it would be a gamble that would pay off.” Moore also notes that Ghost Protocol‘s highly praised visuals and death-defying stunts — which earned the movie an A- CinemaScore — helped draw the coveted teenage demographic in addition to long-standing fans. ”I think it’s introduced Tom Cruise to a new generation,” says Moore. Another mission accomplished.