The positions of the two new films in this week's box-office top 10 were easy to predict: #1 if by land, #2 if by sea.
New releases "National Treasure" and "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" took spots one and two, respectively. "National Treasure," starring Nicolas Cage, bowed at the top of the list with more than $35.2 million, according to early estimates. The action/adventure flick centers on the character of Benjamin Franklin Gates, who is carrying on his ancestral tradition of searching for a treasure chest hidden after the Revolutionary War.
"The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" surfaced at #2 with $33.5 million. The animated film based on the popular television show finds our porous hero departing the town of Bikini Bottom to solve the mystery of King Neptune's stolen crown, in which the prime suspect is SpongeBob's boss, Mr. Krabs.
No amount of superpowers could help "The Incredibles" maintain its hold on the #1 spot this week. The Pixar flick about a family of superheroes that comes out of hiding to help save the world took the #3 spot this week with more than $26.7 million.
After opening at #2, "The Polar Express" dropped two spots to #4 with more than $15.2 million. The animated film, which features Tom Hanks voicing six different characters, centers on a young boy who learns to believe in Santa Claus when he is taken on a magical trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.
In a rare moment of stability, Bridget Jones managed to hold onto the #5 spot for the second week in a row, raking in $10.1 million. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," which picks up just four weeks after the last film left off, focuses on Renée Zellweger's character's attempt to maintain a stable relationship with Colin Firth's Mark Darcy.
After its first week in the top 10, "After the Sunset" is already dipping below the horizon. The film, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek, took in more than $5.2 million to land at #6.
Rounding out the top 10 this week are "Ray," which dropped one spot from #6 to #7 with $4.6 million; "The Grudge," which fell one spot from #7 to #8 with $3.8 million; "Seed of Chucky," which dove five spots from #4 to #9 with more than $3.1 million; and "Saw," which dropped two spots from #8 to #10 with $3 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up slightly from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Alexander," "Finding Neverland" and "Christmas With the Kranks" to debut in the box-office top 10.
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