According to The Hollywood Reporter, As the industry enters the lucrative seven-week year-end holiday season, the marketplace expanded to accommodate two new arrivals that landed at the high end of expectations. Buena Vista's National Treasure dug up an estimated $35.3 million to debut in the top spot, while Paramount's 2-D animated The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie absorbed a better-than-expected estimate of $33.5 million to place second on its opening session.

The debut of the PG-rated National Treasure, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Nicolas Cage, proved to be a personal best for Cage and director Jon Turteltaub. And "SpongeBob," which also carried a PG rating and was directed by its creator, Stephen Hillenburg, secured the biggest opening ever for Nickelodeon Movies and demonstrated that 2-D animation is far from dead.

After a successful debut the previous weekend in a moderate 530 theaters, Universal's Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason added 1,920 venues and took in an estimated $10.1 million on its first weekend in wide release. The romantic comedy from Working Title Films, starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, placed fifth and has a 10-day cume of an estimated $21.6 million.