"National Treasure" tops box office again

December 05, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nicolas Cage's "National Treasure," about a race to find a fortune hidden by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the top movie for a third straight weekend with $17.1 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. The action flick lifted its total to $110.2 million after 17 days in release.

Mike Nichols' caustic sex drama "Closer" opened strongly in narrower release, taking in $7.7 million. Playing in 476 theaters, "Closer" had a healthy average of $16,176 a cinema, compared to a $5,286 average in 3,243 theaters for "National Treasure."

The martial-arts epic "House of Flying Daggers" premiered well in limited release. Directed by Zhang Yimou ("Hero"), the film grossed $417,020 in 15 theaters for a $27,801 average.

The overall box office declined after three straight weekends of rising revenue. The top 12 movies grossed $80.3 million, down 10 percent from the same weekend last year.


Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released today.

1. "National Treasure," $17.1 million.

2. "Christmas With the Kranks," $11.7 million.

3. "The Polar Express," $11 million.

4. "The Incredibles," $9.2 million.

5. "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," $7.8 million.

6. "Closer," $7.7 million.

7. "Alexander," $4.7 million.

8. "Finding Neverland," $2.9 million.

9. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," $2.8 million.

10. "Ray," $1.9 million.

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