Robbery romp Ocean's Twelve' steals its way to No. 1

Monday, December 13, 2004
David Germain
Associated Press

Los Angeles

-- Movie audiences have gone from one robbery flick to another.

"Ocean's Twelve," the star- driven sequel to the theft caper "Ocean's Eleven," debuted with $40.9 million, stealing the top box-office slot from the heist hit "National Treasure," which slipped to third place with $10 million, studio estimates showed Sunday.

"National Treasure," which held the No. 1 spot the three previous weekends, lifted its domestic total to $124.2 million.

"Blade: Trinity," the third in Wesley Snipes' vampire series, opened at No. 2 with $16.1 million. The franchise had lost much of its bite since "Blade 2," which debuted with more than twice the revenue, $32.5 million, and opened as the No. 1 movie in March 2002.

Playing in 3,290 theaters, "Ocean's Twelve" averaged a robust $12,426 per cinema, compared with $5,537 in 2,912 movie houses for "Blade: Trinity."

In limited release, Bill Murray's quirky oceanography tale "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" opened strongly, taking in $114,000 at just two theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. The film expands on Christmas Day.

Hollywood revenues rose solidly, with the top 12 movies taking in $102.8 million, up 28 percent from the same weekend in 2003, when "Something's Gotta Give" opened as the No. 1 movie with $16.1 million.

"Ocean's Twelve" reunites director Steven Soderbergh with a dream cast led by George Cloo ney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia. Joining them this time was Catherine Zeta-Jones, adding to the sequel's star power.

"Movie-goers like their movie stars all in one place," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box- office tracker Exhibitor Relations Inc. "It's like one-stop shopping for all the top stars in Hollywood."

1. "Ocean's Twelve," $40.9 million.

2. "Blade: Trinity," $16.1 million.

3. "National Treasure," $10 million.

4. "The Polar Express," $9.8 million.

5. "Christmas With the Kranks," $7.6 million.

6. "The Incredibles," $5.1 million.

7. "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," $4.4 million.

8. "Closer," $3.8 million.

9. "Finding Neverland," $1.7 million.

10. "Alexander," $1.4 million.

© 2004 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission.
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