Christmas came a little early allowing the animated 3D film A Christmas Carol to lead the box office, but not by as large a margin as many had expected. The Box was the only one of last week's wide releases to miss the top five, landing in sixth place. Here's the top five:

1.A Christmas Carol: $30 million
2. Michael Jackson's This Is It:$13 million
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats: $12.67 million
4. The Fourth Kind: $12.2 million
5. Paranormal Activity: $8.2 million


We've got two new flicks fighting for your dollars this week:

2012
What's It All About:
They say the world will end with not a bang but a whimper, but director Roland Emmerich seems pretty sure it will happen with several kabooms and a motherload of digital effects. John Cusack stars as a man determined to keep his family alive during a global cataclysm predicted by the Mayan calendar.
Why It Might Do Well: Emmerich has already destroyed the world in Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, so he must be getting pretty good at it by now.
Why It Might Not Do Well:
Maybe Emmerich has played his apocalypse card once too often.
Number of Theaters:
3,000
Prediction: $54 million

Pirate Radio
What's It All About:
In the 1960s eight DJ's set up shop on a ship off the coast of England and broadcast rock and roll to the masses, much to the chagrin of the British government.
Why It Might Do Well:
Phillip Seymour Hoffman is joined by Nick Frost and Bill Nighy, and the classic rock soundtrack sounds amazing.
Why It Might Not Do Well: It's a smaller release, so it won't be breaking the bank.
Number of Theaters: 900
Prediction: $6 million

Here's how I think next weekend will go:
1. 2012
2. A Christmas Carol
3. Michael Jackson's This Is It
4. The Men Who Stare at Goats
5. The Fourth Kind