2012 certainly shook things up at the box office over the weekend. The Sony film took in an estimated $65 million domestically and another $120 million overseas leaving just about every other film grasping for life and box-office prognosticators and movie critics gasping at the magnitude of its triumph. "Even the Maya would have struggled to forecast an opening weekend this big," commented the Los Angeles Times , referring to the central premise of the movie -- that the ancient Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 . "Doom spelled dollars," said the Associated Press. Nevertheless, the weekend gross, which unlike many other recent hits, did not have the benefit of premium 3D ticket pricing going for it, ranked far behind director Roland Emmerich's previous disaster epic, The Day After Tomorrow, which opened with $85.8 million over the Memorial Day holiday in 2004 and trailed farther still in attendance. The only other film to open (relatively) wide this weekend, Pirate Radio, foundered with just $2.9 million at 882 theaters. Last week's winner, Disney's A Christmas Carol, managed to bring in about $22.3 million this time around, a modest 26-percent drop, but that may have been small comfort for the Walt Disney Co., which spent nearly as much on the movie as Sony spent on 2012. Still, it's got an entire holiday season ahead of it to try to catch up. Continuing to impress was Lionsgate's Precious, which took in around $6.1 million in just 174 theaters -- or $35,000 per theater. The movie, which was screened in just nine cities expands to around 100 next weekend. Another newcomer, 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Mr. Fox, debuted in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles with an impressive $260,000. It is due to open wide next Wednesday. Other films drew small audiences -- and in fact, despite the huge ticket sales for 2012, the total box office gross for all films ended up 6 percent behind the comparable week a year ago, when the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace debuted with $67.5 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. 2012, $65 million; 2. Disney's A Christmas Carol, $22.3 million; 3. The Men Who Stare at Goats, $6.2 million; 4. Precious , $6.1 million; 5. Michael Jackson's This Is It!, $5.1 million; 6. The Fourth Kind , $4.7 million; 7. Couples Retreat , $4.3 million; 8. Paranormal Activity , $4.2 million; 9. Law Abiding Citizen , $3.9 million; 10. The Box , $3.2 million.