Giving a boost to thebeleagured motion picture group at Disney, Buena Vista's National Treasure opened top on an estimated $35.3m at the weekend, thebiggest ever opening of a Jerry Bruckheimer picture starring the Oscar winningactor.
National Treasure, a family adventure about an archaeologist's searchfor a Revolution-era stash of cash, averaged $11,699 on 3,017 screens and drewso-so reviews. Diane Kruger, Sean Bean and Justin Bartha also star and JonTurteltaub directed.
Opening close behind in secondplace on $33.5m was Paramount's SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, an animated family picture based on the hitNickelodeon series that was very well received by the critics and averaged apowerful $10,429 on 3,212 screens.
Tom Kenny, Roger Bumpass,Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin provide the voice talent and StephenHillenberg directed.
Pixar/Disney's TheIncredibles fell two places to thirdin its third weekend on $26.8m for a $177.8m running total, and Warner Bros' ThePolar Express dropped two to fourthon $15.2m for $51m.
Universal's BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason expandedwide in its second weekend, staying in fifth place on $10.1m for $21.6m todate, and is expected to build over the holiday season.
Horror titles The Grudge and Sawboth passed benchmarks as the former fell one place to eighth on $3.8m for$104.4m in its fifth weekend, while the latter slipped two to 10th on $3m for$50.5m in its fourth.
Next weekend's wide releasesare Sony's family story Christmas With The Kranks starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen; and WarnerBros' epic Alexander, directed byOliver Stone and starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer.
Estimated Top Ten US Nov19-21 2004
Film(Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekend gross/Estimated totalto date
1 (-) National Treasure (Buena Vista) BVI $35.3m -
2 (-) The SpongeBobSquarePants Movie (Paramount) UIP$33.5m -
3 (1) The Incredibles (Pixar/Disney) BVI $26.8m $177.8m
4 (2) The Polar Express (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Intl $15.2m $51m
5 (5) Bridget Jones: TheEdge Of Reason (Universal) UIP$10.1m $21.6m
6 (3) After The Sunset (New Line) NLI $5.3m $19.3m
7 (6) Ray (Universal) UIP $4.6m $59.2m
8 (7) The Grudge (Sony) Senator International $3.8m $104.4m
9 (4) Seed Of Chucky (Focus Features) Focus Internationall $3.1m $13.4m
10 (8) Saw (Lions Gate) LGFI $3m $50.5m