Emmerich Travels to World’s End in 2012

Sony has high hopes that big crowds will show up to watch the end of the world.

The studio is opening its disaster thriller 2012 in more than 3,400 cinemas. The Roland Emmerich film stars John Cusack, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton and features visual effects from a host of studios including Uncharted Territory, Digital Domain, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Double Negative.

Also opening is the Focus Features comedy Pirate Radio, which is being picked up in 882 theaters.

And opening in a very limited four theaters is Wes Anderson’s animated stop-motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox. The film adapts the classic tale by Roald Dahl and features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray.

Facing a big test is Disney’s A Christmas Carol. The 3-D motion-capture film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Jim Carrey topped the box office last weekend amid mixed reviews. Audience response this weekend will help clarify whether the film will be a new holiday classic or a mild box office disappointment.