Page last updated at 09:07 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Carrey's Carol tops US box office

A scene from A Christmas Carol
Carrey voices a number of characters, including the miserly Scrooge (r)

Disney's animated version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol has topped the North American box office chart in its first weekend on release.

However, its $31m (£18.5m) haul was less than some had expected it to make in cinemas in the US and Canada.

According to Disney, nearly three-quarters of A Christmas Carol's sales came from cinemas showing it in 3D.

Jim Carrey plays the miserly Scrooge in the film, which uses a hi-tech form of animation called motion capture.

Last week's top movie, Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It, fell to second place in this week's rundown.

According to studio estimates, the film - constructed from rehearsal footage shot shortly before the singer's death in June - made $14m (£8.3m) between Friday and Sunday.

Urban drama

That put it narrowly ahead of George Clooney's military comedy The Men Who Stare At Goats, whose $13.3m (£7.9m) takings saw it occupy third place in the chart.

Alien abduction thriller The Fourth Kind took a fitting fourth place with admissions totalling an estimated $12.5m (£7.4m).

1 A Christmas Carol - $31m
2 This Is It - $14m
3 The Men Who Stare at Goats - $13.3m
4 The Fourth Kind - $12.5m
5 Paranormal Activity - $8.6m

That put it ahead of two other horror movies, Paranormal Activity at five and The Box at six.

Low-budget shocker Paranormal Activity continues to surprise the industry, its weekend takings of $8.6m (£5.1m) pushing its overall tally close to $100m (£59.6m).

But The Box, a supernatural thriller starring Cameron Diaz, performed disappointingly, making a lacklustre $7.9m (£4.7m) in its first weekend in cinemas.

The weekend's most impressive performer was Precious, a hard-hitting urban drama about an abused high school student.

Despite opening in just 18 cinemas in four US cities, the film - which features singer Mariah Carey in a supporting role - took a promising $1.8m (£1m).

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Frugal Christmas arrives early for Disney at UK box office - 17 hrs ago
The Independent 'Christmas Carol' hits high note at box office - 18 hrs ago
Ananova Festive film is UK's number one - 20 hrs ago
Reuters UK Dickens Christmas classic tops box office - 21 hrs ago
Chicago Tribune 'Carol' opens at No. 1, but 'Precious' hits a high note - 34 hrs ago

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