It’s Sunday morning in Hollywood, and the experts have declared the winners and losers of the weekend box office, for which the celebrity contenders were Jim Carrey in Disney’s A Christmas Carol, George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats and Cameron Diaz in The Box. Headline in The Wrap: “$31M Lump of Coal for ‘Christmas Carol’.” And from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood: “Happy Holidays? Not for Stars: Carrey, Clooney, & Cameron Open Soft This Weekend.” Meanwhile, Variety trumpeted that “‘Precious’ finds special place at box office.”
The raw numbers the studios’ early tallies of the weekend gross, based on hard numbers for Friday, estimates for Saturday and sheer guesswork for Sunday say that Christmas Carol won the weekend with $31 million, more than double the $14 million take of the runner-up, and last week’s winner, Michael Jackson’s This Is It. The very odd Clooney comedy came in third, with $13.3 million, just beating out the $12.9 million gleaned by the low-budget alien-abduction thriller The Fourth Kind. Trailing these were the unkillable phenomenon of Paranormal Activity, with $8.6 million in its seventh week, and Diaz’s The Box, limping into sixth place with $7.9 million. Finally, playing at just 18 theaters, the heralded drama Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire amassed an impressive $1.8 million the same amount that Hilary Swank’s Amelia earned on more than 1,000 screens.