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Wednesday December 26, 2007 3:16 pm

Box Office Breakdown: Book of Secrets a National Hit

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

This holiday weekend introduced a slew of big-ticket features in our cineplexes.  It also brought us a wide cast of former Oscar-winners competing for our theater dollars.  By Monday, , , , , and Oscar-nominee had all made entries into the Top Ten - but it was who wound up striking gold.

earned $45 million, an increase of $10 million over the 2004 original.  This was the second hit for Cage this year, following the critically-panned Ghost Rider.  In addition to having the weekend’s best gross, Secrets also had the best average of any movie over those three days.  Although ‘s fourth place was respectable (especially for a politically-based film these days), its $3760 per screen take clearly set it apart from this week’s champ.  In contrast, earned an $11,184 average for an impressive 10th place finish.

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Meanwhile, - like Charlie Wilson - also failed to reach the $10 million mark.  Despite the presence of fan-favorite Depp, I don’t imagine the movie will fare much better in its second week.  Once theatergoers finally realize that this is a musical (and not a toe-tapping one like ), its appeal will diminish.  As it is, only scored $4 million even with its more melodic tunes and connection to .

1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Disney, $45,106,000 (avg. $11,770)
2. I Am Legend, Warner Bros.,  $33,500,000 (avg. $9254)
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks, 20th Century Fox, $27,900,000 (avg. $7973)
4. Charlie Wilson’s War, Universal, $9,682,000 (avg. $3760)
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dreamworks/WB, $9,302,000 (avg. $7447)
6. P.S. I Love You, Warner Bros., $6,505,000 (avg. $2650)
7. Enchanted, Disney, $4,202,000 (avg. $1526)
8. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Sony, $4,150,000 (avg. $1566)
9. The Golden Compass, New Line, $3,980,000 (avg. $1347)
10. Juno, Fox Searchlight, $3,400,000 (avg. $11,184)

(You can review last week’s numbers here.)

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