Toons Thankful for Holiday Weekend

The long Thanksgiving weekend was good to the handful of animated features in release at North American theaters. All three held onto top-five spots with a couple even getting big boosts. Most remarkable is the 73% spike enjoyed by Sony’s The Polar Express, a $170 million gamble that suffered a disappointing opening. The digital Tom Hanks vehicle gathered enough steam to pull in more than $27 million, bringing its cumulative take to a healthy $82 million. The quickly approaching Christmas frame should also shovel some much-needed coal into the pic’s furnace.

While Buena Vista’s vfx-laden action/adventure romp, National Treasure, scored the biggest bounty with $46 million, Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles went up 25% from last weekend, holding onto second place with an estimated 5-day take of $33.2 milllion. The superhero toon has earned a super $214 million since opening four weeks ago.

The Sony/Revolution Studios holiday comedy, Christmas with the Cranks, debuted at No. 3, jingling all the way to the bank with an estimated $32 million, despite abysmal reviews. Also panned by critics, The Oliver Stone-directed Warner Bros. historical epic, Alexander, disappointed studio execs with a lackluster $21.6 million since Wednesday, bowing at No. 6.

The only animated entry to take a hit during the Thanksgiving frame is Nickelodeon Movies’ and Paramount’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which dipped about 27% with $23.4 million. Still, the film managed to hang in at No. 5 having made nearly double its production budget after only two weeks. The hit comedy has earned $58 million so far and should also prove leggy through the Christmas season.