Disney’s A Christmas Carol easily outperformed this week’s competition at the box office with an opening weekend of $31 million. Robert Zemeckis’ family friendly adaptation of the classic Dickens tale faced little competition and brought in twice as much as the number two film, Kenny Ortega’s This Is It ($14 million). The Michael Jackson documentary fell from the number one spot, but still managed to outperform the dark comedy, The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, which brought in $13.3 million in its debut weekend. Olatunde Osunsanmi’s alien-centric The Fourth Kind opened (appropriately) at the fourth spot with $12.5 million and pushed Paranormal Activity, which is now a stone’s throw away from the $100 million mark, to the number five spot.
Looking to challenge A Christmas Carol next week, disaster auteur Roland Emmerich is taking his 2012 to more than 3,000 theaters on Friday. Also opening next week in wide release is Richard Curtis’ Pirate Radio, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Nighy, while Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, featuring the voices of Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray opens in a limited release.