It took one month and 12 trained thieves to steal the box office's most highly coveted, well-guarded treasure from under Nicolas Cage's nose.
Danny Ocean and his posse nabbed the #1 spot on the box-office top 10 this week, as "Ocean's Twelve" took in more than $40.8 million in its opening weekend, according to early estimates, to unseat multi-week champ "National Treasure."
In the sequel to 2001's "Ocean's Eleven," Ocean's (George Clooney) gang is threatened by casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who threatens to come after each of them if they don't return the money they stole from him. Ocean gathers his band of skilled robbers to pull off three separate heists in Amsterdam, Rome and Paris to come up with the funds.
Also new to the box-office top 10 is the third installment in the "Blade" series. "Blade: Trinity" finds vampire hunter Blade (Wesley Snipes) forced to join with the human vampire hunters, the Nightstalkers, to vanquish the Vampire Nation. The film, which also stars Jessica Biel and Ryan Reynolds, bowed at #2 with more than $16.1 million.
"National Treasure" crumbled under the pressure of the two newcomers this week, as the film, which stars Cage as a treasure hunter searching for riches buried by the country's Founding Fathers, dropped two spots from #1 (where it spent three weeks) to #3, with more than $9.9 million.
"The Polar Express" and "Christmas With the Kranks" failed to get moviegoers in the Christmas spirit this week. "The Polar Express," an animated film about a boy who learns to believe in Christmas when he is whisked away to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, fell a spot from #3 to #4 with more than $9.7 million. "Christmas With the Kranks," in which the return home of a family's daughter forces her parents to forgo their vacation plans in favor of a Christmas celebration, slipped three spots from #2 to #5 on sales of $7.6 million.
After an impressive stint in the upper half of the box-office top 10, "The Incredibles" has taken a fall toward the bottom of the chart, dropping from #4 to #6 with more than $5 million.
Rounding out the top 10 this week are "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," which slides from #6 to #7 with more than $4.3 million; "Closer," which drops from #5 to #8 with more than $3.7 million; "Finding Neverland," which slips from #8 to #9 with more than $1.6 million; and "Alexander," which falls from #7 to #10 with more than $1.4 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up this week from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" to debut in the box-office top 10.
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