Clapboard: Christmas Carol Hits High Note

LOS ANGELES ~ The festive season lured North American moviegoers at the weekend to leave Disney’s A Christmas Carol on top of the box office rankings, final figures showed.

The latest adaptation of Charles Dickens’s classic tale, featuring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and several other characters, earned US$30 million in its first week in theatres, figures from Exhibitor Relations revealed.

Falling to second place was This Is It, a compilation of footage of the late Michael Jackson as he prepared for his concert comeback in London.

The film cashed in on an outpouring of affection for the star after his death in June, and took in $13.2 million in receipts, taking its two-week earnings to $57 million.

In at number three was new release The Men Who Stare at Goats, a satirical comedy starring George Clooney as a member of an elite US military force that uses mind-control as a weapon.

The movie, which also features Ewan McGregor and Jeff Bridges, earned $12.7 million.

The number-four spot went to another new release, The Fourth Kind, starring Milla Jovovich as a doctor investigating alien abduction, which took in $12.2 million.

Falling three spots to number five was Paranormal Activity, a low-budget horror movie that earned $8.3 million to bring its seven-week earnings to $97.1 million.

At number six was The Box, another horror movie, starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as a couple who receive a mysterious box, which earned $7.6 million in its first week in theatres.

Down three places from last week to number seven was Couples Retreat, starring comic favourites Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, which earned $6.1 million.

At number eight was Law Abiding Citizen, a thriller about a man bent on avenging the deaths of his slain family, which took $6 million in its fourth week.

Down four spots to number nine was Where the Wild Things Are, director Spike Jonze’s whimsical retelling of the beloved children’s book of the same name, which earned $4.2 million.

Rounding out the top 10 with $2.6 million in earnings was Astro Boy, a 3-D animated feature film about the futuristic robot who first came to life as a 1950s Japanese science fiction manga character.

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