Universal's The Cat InThe Hat stayed top by a whisker overthe holiday weekend, adding an estimated $25.6m for $77m in its second weekwhile Buena Vista's The Haunted Mansion opened second on $25.3m.
Three other openers gracedthe top ten with varying degrees of success as the top 12 films combined forthe second best five-day Thanksgiving box office total ever on $209.5m.
Despite poor reviews BuenaVista's The Haunted Mansionopened well for its star Eddie Murphy, grossing $35m since Wednesday in whatthe studio is calling the eighth best five-day Thanksgiving opening of alltime.
The family comedy averaged$8,103 from 3,122 venues and stars Murphy as a workaholic estate agent who isreminded of his family duties after he is stranded in a haunted house. RobMinkoff directed and Jennifer Tilly and Terence Stamp also star.
New Line's Christmas comedy Elf continued its strong run as it stayed in third placeand added $22.2m for a heartening $130.1m total in its fourth week.
Fox's naval epic MasterAnd Commander fell one place tofifth, adding $12.7m for a gallant $67.5m total in its third week, whileUniversal's Love Actually slippedfour to ninth on $7.9m for $43.2m.
Dimension's Bad Santa opened in sixth on a strong $12.5m and $16.8m afterfive days. Terry Zwigoff's well-received black comedy stars Billy Bob Thorntonas a foul-mouthed Yuletide conman. Bernie Mac also stars and the film averaged$6,227 from 2,005 sites.
Columbia/Revolution's TheMissing, a western directed by RonHoward and starring Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, opened seventh on$11.7m for a five-day total of $16.5m. The solid opening averaged $4,245 from2,756 venues and divided the critics.
Paramount's Timeline, a time travel adventure starring Paul Walker andGerard Butler and directed by Richard Donner, had a disappointing bow in eighthon $8.5m for a $12.6m total over Thanksgiving. It averaged $3,040 from 2,787sites and suffered bad reviews. The film was co-financed by Mutual Film Co andsold in international territories by Cobalt Media/Winchester.
After a memorable worldwideopening four weeks ago, Warner Bros' The Matrix Revolutions dropped out of the top 10 as it plunged five placesto 11th, adding just $4.6m for a $133.1m total in its fourth weekend.
The Thanksgiving record forthe top 12 films is $232m, set in 2000, when How The Grinch Stole Christmas ruled the roost.
Next weekend's releasesinclude Warner Bros' epic adventure The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise and Universal's music drama Honey, which stars Jessica Alba.
Estimated Top Ten US Nov28-Nov 30 2003
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimatedtotal to date
1 (1) The Cat In The Hat(Universal) DreamWorks/UIP $25.6m $77m
2 (-) The Haunted Mansion (Buena Vista) BVI $25.3m $35m
3 (3) Elf (New Line) NLI $22.2m $130.1m
4 tied (2) Gothika (Warner Bros) Columbia TriStar $12.7m $41.1m
4 tied (4) Master AndCommander (Fox) Fox Int'l $12.7m$67.5m
6 (-) Bad Santa (Dimension) Miramax International $12.5m $16.8m
7 (-) The Missing (Columbia) Columbia TriStar/Revolution $11.7m $16.5m
8 (-) Timeline (Paramount) Mutual/Cobalt-Winchester $8.5m $12.6m
9 (5) Love Actually (Universal) UIP $7.9m $43.2m
10 (7) Brother Bear (Buena Vista) BVI $4.9m $77.7m