We met the Ghost of Box-Office Future on Friday, and yesterday brought the Ghost of Box-Office Present. Today, the Ghost of Box-Office Past pays a visit with a look back at Hollywood's weekend receipts. And unless you work at Disney, there's really no need to be scared.

1. Disney's A Christmas Carol

Gross: $31,000,000 (new)

Screens: 3,683 (PSA: $6,119)

Week: 1

Robert Zemeckis's latest motion-capture exercise is roundly being perceived today as an underachiever, and while I can't argue too much, let's think about this for a second. Yes, Disney wants a lot more bang for its 180 million bucks, but it's not as though Zemeckis's previous mo-cap entries -- The Polar Express ($23 million) and Beowulf ($28 million) -- had better openings. Second, it's freaking Nov. 8. We're still gorging on Halloween candy! If Disney really had to jump the seasonal gun this dramatically, it may as well have just opened in August and at least had DVD's ready to sell by Black Friday. Just saying.

2. Michael Jackson's This Is It

Gross: $14,000,000 (cume: $57,855,000)

Screens: 3,481 (PSA: $4,022)

Weeks: 2 (Change: -39.7%)

A week-two drop of just under 40 percent isn't bad -- or rather, it's likely good enough to warrant an extension of at least a week more in theaters. Sony's bosses are likely letting Joe Jackson's calls go to voicemail anyway just in case.

3. The Men Who Stare At Goats

Gross: $13,309,000 (new)

Screens: 2,443 (PSA: $5,448)

Weeks: 1

The George Clooney comedy performed better than expected on a congested weekend, proving that adult audiences are still plenty game for smart, sophisticated films about telekinetic Army officers and the defenseless animals they vanquish with their minds.

4. The Fourth Kind

Gross: $12,521,000 (new)

Screens: 2,527 (PSA: $4,955)

Weeks: 1

First Couple's Retreat, and now this -- Universal's new front-office regime has proven an uncanny knack for horror.

5. Paranormal Activity

Gross: $8,600,000 (cume: $97,430,000)

Screens: 2,558 (PSA: $3,362)

Weeks: 7 (Change: -47.5%)

The phenomenon is over if you demand it, and apparently you did: Activity dipped back into seven-figure territory for the first time since Oct. 9, when it made $7.9 million on less than 200 screens.

13. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Gross: $1,800,000 (new)

Screens: 8 (PSA: $100,000)

Weeks: 1

$1.8 million on eight screens might sound impressive at first, but when you take into account the standard ticket surcharge to watch this gritty drama in 3-D IMAX OprahVision, it actually adjusts down to more believable, earthly numbers. Either way, congrats to Lionsgate -- it probably just opened this year's Best Picture Oscar-winner.


  • Juancho says:

    I'm going to withhold comment on the film itself, which I have not seen, but as astonishing as the tech is, I find these Zemeckis things to be a bit...creepy.
    However, that $31 million opening vs. $180 million cost shouldn't be too much of a cause for concern...yet. WB had similar fears about The Polar Express when it opened small, yet it had tremendous legs and played throughout the holiday season. Parents are going to have to have some film (besides 2012) to take their little ones to see when they drop their tweens off to see New Moon.
    Time to step up to the plate, Disney Marketing.

  • Doretta says:

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