Crime paid well over the weekend at the box-office as Ocean's Twelve, the heist saga with an awesome cast, bagged $40.8 million.
Still, given the hype and the high expectations preceding its release, the three-day gross could have been bigger. The sequel may not reach the $485 million the first film had swept worldwide, though Twelve opened to a few millions more than what Ocean's Eleven grossed two years ago.
The Los Angeles Times slammed the film as a 'dispiriting vanity project,' especially for many of its in-house jokes. In one scene, Bruce Willis, who does a cameo, asks Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts) how Danny is. Danny is the name of Tess's husband in the movie, and also the name of Julia Roberts' husband.
The New York Times gave was kinder, calling it a fun film and 'unabashedly trivial.'
With her dark marital drama Closer at number eight on the chart and Twelve on top, Julia Roberts was certainly in an enviable position. But Closer, despite solid reviews, began bleeding in its second week after an impressive start. Apparently, viewers find the story of the wages of adultery uncomfortable.
The film lost about 53 percent of the audience in its second weekend, despite adding 146 theatres and taking its total theatre count to 622. The film will add more screens in the coming weeks. At this rate of attrition, it may end its North American run with about $30 million, unless it gets major Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.
The third film in Wesley Snipes' Blade series, Trinity, which opened on December 8, had an okay run at the second spot on the chart, grossing $25 million. The previous two Blade films were not critics' favourites like most horror films, but they did far better business than the new film. Yet, Blade Trinity could still end up with a good profit.
The story revolves around Marvel Comics superhero Blade, a vampire hunter. Now, after running into problems with the FBI, he is forced out into the daylight and has to join forces with human vampire hunters called The Nightstalkers. His adventures lead him to the original vampire, Count Dracula.
Influential trade publication Hollywood Reporter complained the film was 'overly long and bloated, suffering from a sense of self-importance.' Other reviewers were even harsher.
With the arrival of Ocean's Twelve and Trinity, there was no chance National Treasure, the three-week box-office champion, could retain the crown. Even then, the Nicolas Cage action adventure found nearly $10 million on its way to a possible $150 million mark.
Rounding up the top five, Christmas With The Kranks is on its way to an average success, with a final gross of $75-80 million. . Christmas had received some of the year's most savage reviews It proved once again that in case of mass entertainers, critics hardly matter.
Box-office estimates for North America, December 10-12
|Rank||Film||Weekend gross||Total gross||Number of weeks|
|1||Ocean's Twelve||$40.8 million||$40.8m||New|
|3||National Treasure||$9.9 million (down 41%)||$124m||4|
|4||Polar Express||$9.7 million (down 9%)||$110m||5|
|5||Christmas With The Cranks||$7.6 million (down 38%)||$54m||3|
|6||The Incredibles||$5 million (down 44%)||$232m||6|
|7||The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||$4.3 million (down 44%)||$73.5m||4|
|8||Closer||$3.7 million (down 53%)||$13.7m||2|
|9||Finding Neverland||$1.7 million (down 40 %)||$14m||5|
|10||Alexander||$1.4 million (down 70%)||$32m||3|