Just as the Mayans predicted, 2012 caused mass devastation at the box office to the tune of $65 million, overcoming mostly disparaging reviews in addition to good taste and common decency. Roland Emmerich’s attempt to make the disaster movie to end all disaster movies—and pretty please on that front—doubled down on all the monument-destroying power of past hits like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, and brought his digital people kill count well over the 10 billion mark. (Take that, McDonald’s!) A Christmas Carol slipped into second place at $22 million, which sounds worse than it is; losing only 26% of its business from opening weekend, the film looks relatively strong heading into the holiday season, so reports of its middling performance may be a bit exaggerated. The other big news is the continuing triumph of Precious: Based On The Novel The Lost Symbol By Dan Brown, which came in fourth with $6.1 million, an astonishing number when you consider that it only expanded to 174 screens (that’s $35,000 per screen). The backlash is going to have to be mighty to slow this awards juggernaut.
In limited release, Wes Anderson’s fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox opened big on four screens, taking $65,000 per screen. It remains to be seen whether the film will connect with family audiences as strongly as it has with fancy-pants critic-types, but there’s cause for optimism. Of the other indie openers, The Messenger enjoyed a healthy $12,500 on four screens while Uncertainty did about the same on one. No word yet on how the seven—seven—documentaries that opened in New York fared, but they surely raised the consciousness of the dozens that saw them.
More detailed numbers available at Box Office Mojo.