Weekend Box Office
1) Disney's a Christmas Carol - $31 million
2) Michael Jackson's This Is It - $14 million
3) The Men Who Stare at Goats - $13.3 million
4) The Fourth Kind - $12.5 million
5) Paranormal Activity - $8.6 million
6) The Box - $7.8 million
7) Couples Retreat - $6.4 million
8) Law Abiding Citizen - $6.1 million
9) Where the Wild Things Are - $4.2 million
10) Astro Boy - $2.5 million
Robert Zemekis' 3D performance capture retelling of the classic Charles Dickens' story, Disney's a Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carey as the immortal villain Scrooge took the top spot this weekend in it's first week of release grossing an estimated $31 million at the box office. The film, which cost an estimated $200 million to make, was released on 3,683 screens for an average of $8,417 per screen. While last weeks number one film, Michael Jackson's This Is It, fell nearly 40% earning an additional $14 million this week in the box office. Playing on an estimated 3,481 screens, the film earned $4,022 per screen making its total gross upwards of $57 million in only it's second week of release.
The Men Who Stare at Goats starring Oscar Winners George Clooney and Kevin Spacey along with Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges made an impressive $13.3 million this week earning the third spot on the chart in it's first week of release. The film, which was released on 2,443 screens earned $5,448 per screen making back nearly half of its $25 million budget in it's first week of release. Also new this week, the alien abduction film The Fourth Kind did quite well opening on 2,527 screens with an average of $4,955 per screen for a total of $12.5 million, which was good enough to take the forth place on the chart. Rounding off the top five this week was last week's number two movie, the low-budget juggernaut Paranormal Activity. The film took in another $8.6 million this week bringing it's total gross to around $97.4 million domestically, an impressive total for a film that only cost about fifteen-thousand dollars to make.
However, not all of the new films in release this week were successful as Warner Brothers' The Box, from Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly and starring Cameron Diaz, failed to resonate with audiences. The film, which was released on 2,635 screens for an average of $2,981 per screen only made an estimated $7.8 million, which caused it to fall just short of cracking this week's top five. On the other hand, a few smaller films are making big waves this week such as Precious a film based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire. The film, which was produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, made an average of $100,000 per each of the 18 screens that it was shown on for an impressive opening weekend total of $1,800,000. Also showing an impressive debut for a limited release this week was That Evening Sun starring veteran actor Hal Holbrook, which was only released in one theater yet still racked in around $8,900.
Next weekend will see three new films enter into wide release with director Roland Emmerich's latest disaster film 2012, leading the pack. Also in wide release next week is Wes Anderson's animated version of author Roald Dahl's celebrated children's book The Fantastic Mr. Fox starring George Clooney and Meryl Streep and the British '60s pop-music film Pirate Radio starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and directed by Richard Curtis. Opening in limited release next week is The Messenger starring Ben Foster and Woody Harelson as US soldiers with the worst duty imaginable, Emmy Rossum in the teen coming-of-age story Dare and an ensemble of intriguing actresses including Carla Gugino and Connie Britton in Women in Trouble. Check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week.