Hanks Casts Mel Away

There was no saving Private Gibson at the box office over the Christmas holiday weekend as Tom Hanks‘ new film “Cast Away” cast a spell on moviegoers.

The Robert Zemeckis film, featuring Hanks as a Federal Express employee who gets stranded on a deserted island, took in an estimated $40.5 million over the long holiday weekend, according to studio estimates Monday.

Cast Away” dethroned one-week champ “What Women Want” starring Mel Gibson. “Women” took in $21.5 million, bringing its two-week total to $70.1 million.

Rounding out the Top Five: Nicolas Cage‘s “The Family Man” with $15.2 million its first week out; “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with $15 million, bringing its total to $235.4 million; and another debut, Sandra Bullock‘s “Miss Congeniality” with $13.8 million.

The Grinch” last week became the highest-grossing film of the year, eclipsing Tom Cruise‘s “Mission: Impossible” sequel “M:I-2.” “M:I-2” was released in May.

Of note in this weekend’s Top 10: Ang Lee‘s critically acclaimed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” expanded from 31 to 141 theaters and grossed an outstanding $4 million. In comparison, “Cast Away” was in 2,780 theaters.

Here are the Top 10 films over the long holiday weekend (final figures will be released later today):

Cast Away,” $40.5 million total (new)

What Women Want,” $21.5 million ($70.1 million total)($

The Family Man,” $15.2 million (new)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” $15 million ($235.4 million total)

Miss Congeniality,” $13.8 million (new)

The Emperor’s New Groove,” $10.2 million ($24.8 million total)

Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000,” $7.8 million (new)

Vertical Limit,” $5.7 million ($38.4 million total)

Dude, Where’s My Car?” $5.2 million ($24.2 million total)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” $4 million ($6.9 million total)