"2012" Brings $200 Million in Its Opening Weekend

Moviegoers couldn't resist dabbling in doomsday this weekend with the release of Sony's "2012." The director of "2012" Roland Emmerich set the box office on fire once again with a $65 million weekend debut domestically and an additional $160 million overseas, resulting in a $225 million worldwide intake.

The success of "2012" marks a major step forward for director Emmerich, whose last film, "10,000 B.C.," opened softly due to bad word of mouth from critics and audiences alike. Critics are still mixed on Emmerich's storytelling merits in "2012," but the director undeniably delivered a lucrative feature this time around for Sony. Indeed, "2012" is the studio's eighth first-place-finishing film of the year, joining an elite club that includes "Zombieland" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

The sheer force of "2012" overcame other box-office contenders, including last week's winner, "A Christmas Carol." The 3-D motion-capture flick, which stars Jim Carrey as the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge and a number of other characters, managed a second-place finish of $22.3 million, bringing the film's domestic total to $63.3 million. While that number might be far from the movie's reported $180 million budget, the impending holiday season could keep "A Christmas Carol" in spirit long enough to turn a profit or at least break even, MTV.com reports.

"2012" ends with John Cusack, his family and a couple hundred thousand other survivors on a series of high-tech floating arks they've boarded to avoid the earthquakes and tsunamis that consume the planet. As the weather settles down and the clouds begin to clear, the arks set sail for the only remaining land mass still above water, the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. What will happen when they arrive?

That's a question director Roland Emmerich plans to answer in a new "2012" TV spin-off that will pick up in 2013, after the ships have reached Africa.

"It's a little bit like 'Lost,' " he explained in a recent interview with MTV News. "I kind of said, 'This would make an interesting TV show.' At the end of the movie — I don't want to give it away — but they find one continent that's left and they go there. I'm so interested in what will happen, because naturally on this continent there are survivors. What will they say when these arks show up?" MTV.com reports.

It was also reported, nothing like a good disaster movie to bring in a lot of coin at the box office.

The John Cusack thriller brought in more than its $200 million budget in its opening weekend, a huge win for Sony Pictures. Add in the spectacular limited release reign of "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" and the weekend was a solid one even if it couldn't surpass last year at this time when Sony's "Quantum of Solace" was top dog on the list, CNN reports.

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