Disney's A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol debuted atop the weekend box office, taking in $31 million and kicking off the holiday movie season.

Disney's animated version of the Charles Dickens classic, which features Jim Carrey as miserly Ebenezer Scrooge as well as the three ghosts who haunt him, knocked Michael Jackson's This Is It to second place, which took in $14 million. So far, the late King of Pop's concert film has taken in $57.9 domestically and $186.5 million worldwide.

VIDEO: Go on the set of A Christmas Carol

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — which has won awards at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals — had a strong start, taking in $1.8 million in just 18 theaters.

Other new films for the weekend included George Clooney's Men Who Stare at Goats (No. 3 with $13.3 million), horror flick The Forth Kind (No. 4 with $12.5 million) and Cameron Diaz's The Box (No. 6 with $7.9 million).

Rounding out the top 10: Paranormal Activity (No. 5; $8.6 million), Couples Retreat (No. 7; $6.4 million), Law Abiding Citizen (No. 8; $6.2 million), Where the Wild Things Are (No. 9; $4.2 million) and Astro Boy (No. 10; 2.6 million).