Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, Dec. 24: 'National Treasure 2' Earns Its Weight in Gold

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Dec 24, 2007 | 5:45am EST

Nicolas Cage’s National Treasure: Book of Secrets opened on top of the North American box office this weekend with $45.5 million, as the holidays continue to bring good cheer to Hollywood.

With Cage reprising his role as a history buff on the hunt for a vanished fortune, the National Treasure sequel outdid the original, which debuted with $35.1 million in 2004.

Other newcomers this weekend included: the Julia Roberts-Tom Hanks starrer Charlie Wilson's War, which debuted in fourth place with $9.6 million; the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp musical Sweeney Todd, which opened in fifth with $9.34 million; the romantic dramedy P.S. I Love You, starring Hilary Swank and Gerald Butler, which premiered in sixth place with $6.5 million; and finally the latest from the Judd Apatow comedy machine, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which opened in eighth with just $4.1 million, despite good reviews praising its no-holds-barred humor and John C. Reilly's giddy performance.

After a sluggish fall, Hollywood business soared for the second-straight weekend. The top 12 movies took in $153.5 million, up 41.97 percent from the same weekend last year. The Top 12 movies was also up 1.08 percent from last weekend’s total of $151.8 million.

"The variety of films is really bringing out the audience," Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers told the Associated Press. "People are looking for all different types of movies, and everything is represented here."

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year: Fox’s Night at the Museum, which opened at No. 1 with $30.4 million in 3,685 theaters, averaging $8,259 per theater; Sony’s The Pursuit of Happyness, which dropped to second place in its second week with $14.8 million in 2,863 theaters, averaging $5,175 per theater; and MGM’s Rocky Balboa, which opened in third place with $12.1 million in 3,017 theaters, averaging $4,030 per theater (Click here to read last year's box office report).

BOX OFFICE TOP 10 ESTIMATES

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Walt Disney, PG)

• Gross: $45.5 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 3,832

• Per-theater average: $11,874

No. 2: I Am Legend (Warner Bros., PG-13)

• Gross: $34.2 million (-56%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,620 (+14)

• Per-theater average: $9,454

• Cume to date: $137.4 million

No. 3: Alvin and the Chipmunks (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

• Gross: $29 million (-35%)

• Weeks opened: 2

• Theaters: 3,499 (+24)

• Per-theater average: $8,288

• Cume to date: $84.8 million

No. 4: Charlie Wilson's War (Universal, R)

• Gross: $9.6 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,575

• Per-theater average: $3,735

No. 5: Sweeney Todd (DreamWorks, R)

• Gross: $9.3 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 1,249

• Per-theater average: $7,486

No. 6: P.S. I Love You (Warner Bros., PG-13)

• Gross: $6.5 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,454

• Per-theater average: $2,651

No. 7: Enchanted (Disney, PG)

• Gross: $4.1 million (-25%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 2,752 (-314)

• Per-theater average: $1,509

• Cume to date: $98.3 million

No. 8: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Sony, R)

• Gross: $4.1 million

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 2,650

• Per-theater average: $1,547

No. 9: The Golden Compass (New Line, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.9 million (-55%)

• Weeks opened: 3

• Theaters: 2,953 (-575)

• Per-theater average: $1,346

• Cume to date: $48.4 million

No. 10: Juno (Fox Searchlight, PG-13)

• Gross: $3.4 million (+138%)

• Weeks opened: 5

• Theaters: 304 (+264)

• Per-theater average: $11,184

• Cume to date: $6.3 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Steep (Sony Classics, PG-13)

• Gross: $18,000

• Weeks opened: NEW!

• Theaters: 17

• Per-theater average: $1,059

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