Tonawanda News

Movies

November 9, 2009

MOVIES: Carrey’s ’Christmas Carol’ wraps up $31M weekend

LOS ANGELES — Jim Carrey’s Scrooge collected holiday donations from movie fans with his new take on “A Christmas Carol,” which took in $31 million to open as the weekend’s top movie.

The Disney animated version of the Charles Dickens classic knocked the King of Pop out of the No. 1 spot as “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” slipped to second place with $14 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Sony’s “This Is It,” presenting rehearsal performances Jackson shot before his death last June, raised its domestic total to $57.9 million. Worldwide, “This Is It” has taken in $186.5 million.

Featuring Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and also as the three holiday ghosts that show Scrooge the error of his miserly ways, “A Christmas Carol” came in on the low end of Disney’s expectations for opening weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lionsgate’s acclaimed drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ’Push’ by Sapphire” had a spectacular start, pulling in $1.8 million in just 18 theaters, averaging $100,000 a cinema. That compares with an $8,418 average for “A Christmas Carol” in 3,683 theaters.

“Precious” had a record average for films opening in 10 or more theaters. Others that have averaged $100,000 or more typically debut in only a few cinemas.

The weekend brought a rush of other new movies, led by George Clooney’s comedy “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” which finished at No. 3 with $13.3 million. The Overture Films release is a satiric look at U.S. military efforts to create “warrior monks” who can predict the future or walk through walls.

Debuting in fourth place with $12.5 million was Universal’s “The Fourth Kind,” starring Milla Jovovich as a psychologist studying alien abductions in Alaska.

Cameron Diaz and James Marsden’s sci-fi tale “The Box” opened at No. 6 with $7.9 million. The Warner Bros. thriller centers on a couple given a mysterious box that can provide them $1 million, but at the cost of a stranger’s life.

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