2012 comes from Independence Day director Roland Emmerich
John Cusack disaster movie 2012 has led the US box office, with takings of $65.2m (£38.8m) in its debut weekend.
The Mayan-inspired film, which took$230.4m (£137.1m) globally, sees a series of geological and astrological disasters which befall Earth in 2012.
US space agency Nasa set up a website before its release to debunk the myth the world will end with the Mayan calendar in 2012.
The movie knocked Disney's A Christmas Carol into second place.
The adaption of the classic Dickens story sees Jim Carrey play the miserly Scrooge and all the ghosts of Christmas, using a hi-tech form of animation called motion capture.
George Clooney film The Men Who Stare at Goats remained at number three having scooped $6.2 million (£3.7 million).
US BOX OFFICE TOP FIVE
1. 2012 - $65.2m (£38.8m)
2. A Christmas Carol - $22.3 (£13.2m)
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats - $6.2m (£3.7m)
4. Precious $6.1m (£3.6m)
5. This Is It - $5.1m (£3m)
Drama movie Precious leapt from twelfth position to number four, despite being shown in only 174 cinemas.
It follows the life of an uneducated, overweight African-American teenager, who becomes pregnant after being raped by her father.
The film, which has Oprah Winfrey as its executive producer, was a big hit on the festival circuit.
Michael Jackson's This Is It fell to fifth place from number two - its total earnings since its release last month are now $67m (£39.7m).
The Fourth Kind, a thriller starring Milla Jovovich, was at number six, after falling two places from last week, followed by Vince Vaughan's comedy Couples Retreat which remained at number seven in its fifth week on the chart.
Horror movie Paranormal Activity was at number eight, with thriller Law Abiding Citizen in ninth place.
Cameron Diaz's psychological thriller The Box rounded off the top 10.