"National Treasure" sleighs Christmas box office
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Nicolas Cage's adventure sequel "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" raced to $65 million during its first five days of release across North America, distributor Walt Disney Pictures said on Tuesday.
The tally consists of actual sales for the four days since the film opened last Friday, and a Christmas day estimate. Final sales data will be issued on Wednesday.
Through December 24, the film had also earned $27.5 million in 17 international markets, mostly in Asia. The critically maligned sequel to the 2004 smash "National Treasure" stars Cage as a treasure hunter who flies around the world trying to solve an ancient puzzle related to Lincoln's assassination.
Will Smith's sci-fi thriller "I Am Legend" was No. 2 with five-day sales of $47.5 million, taking its 12-day haul to $150.8 million, said Warner Bros. Pictures.
Because of the holiday, data for many films were incomplete. Twentieth Century Fox reported a four-day tally of $32.8 million for its surprise hit "Alvin and the Chipmunks," saying it was impossible to estimate Christmas Day sales. After 11 days, the kids film has earned $88.7 million.
The fact-based political comedy "Charlie Wilson's War" earned $14.75 million, and the Johnny Depp musical "Sweeney Todd" $12.75 million, both after five days. Their respective studios, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures, warned that the Christmas Day components were rough guesses.
The box office jury is still out on "Charlie Wilson," a high-profile vehicle starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which is playing in twice as many theaters as "Sweeney Todd," which DreamWorks co-produced with Warner Bros.
Further down the rankings, "P.S. I Love You" had earned $9.1 million in its first five days. After a low-key opening weekend, Warner Bros. said it hoped more women would turn out in force for the Hilary Swank tearjerker now that Christmas-related chores are behind them.
The musical spoof "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" reported a four-day haul of $4.7 million. Distributor Columbia Pictures did not have a Christmas Day estimate for the box office disappointment. Continued...