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'National Treasure': A Merry Christmas

On Christmas Day, Nicolas Cage's adventure sequel easily beat three wide openers -- ''Alien vs. Predator: Requiem,'' ''The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep,'' and ''The Great Debaters''

Following its opening-weekend triumph, Nicolas Cage's National Treasure: Book of Secrets opened a $13.7 million gift on Christmas, typically one of the busiest days on the box-office calendar. That sum kept the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced sequel at No. 1, even while three major releases — Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, The Great Debaters, and The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep — debuted in theaters. Will Smith's I Am Legend, landed in second place on Tuesday, banking $9.8 mil to bring its 12-day domestic total to a stellar $151 mil. AVP:R was third with a solid $9.5 mil, followed by holdovers Alvin and the Chipmunks ($6 mil) and Charlie Wilson's War ($4.3 mil). The other freshman flicks fared poorly, however, with Denzel Washington's Golden Globe-nominated historical drama The Great Debaters (No. 6) bringing in just $3.6 mil and the children's fantasy The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep grossing a mere $2.4 mil — a lump of coal in the stocking, indeed. Check back on Friday to read EW's predictions for the weekend ahead.

Originally posted Dec 26, 2007