'Christmas Carol' hits high note at box office

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The Independent Culture

The festive season lured North American movie-goers at the weekend to leave "Disney's A Christmas Carol" on top of the box office rankings, final figures showed Monday.

The latest adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale, featuring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and several other characters, earned 30 million dollars in its first week in theaters, 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 dollars in receipts, takings its two-week earning to 57 million dollars.

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 dollars.

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 dollars.

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

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 dollars in its first week in theaters.

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

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

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 dollars.

Rounding out the top ten with 2.6 million dollars 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.