- National Treasure: Book of Secrets box office: This Oscar season, domestic audiences have embraced Jon Turteltaub’s critically panned adventure starring Nicolas Cage, the star of commercially successful critical duds like The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air, and the original National Treasure.
- In other domestic box office news, the mega-budget post-apocalyptic action thriller I Am Legend is on its way to becoming a mega-blockbuster. Francis Lawrence directed; Will Smith stars.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets box office: Oscar season’s biggest domestic blockbuster nears $200 million milestone
Jan. 4–6 weekend box office: So much for Oscar Season. Directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Nicolas Cage as amateur cryptographer/treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, Walt Disney Pictures’ critically dismissed National Treasure: Book of Secrets has topped the domestic box office chart for three straight weekends since its Dec. 21 debut.
As per studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com, the $130 million action adventure added another $20.1 million this past weekend, thus edging closer to the $200 million milestone in North America (U.S. and Canada only). Cume to date: $170.8 million.
For comparison’s sake: Also starring Cage as Gates, Disney/Turteltaub’s equally derided 2004 blockbuster National Treasure ended its domestic run with $173 million, in addition to $174.5 million internationally. Worldwide total: An impressive – especially for a non-sequel – $347.5 million. Budget: $100 million.
Besides Best Actor Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, 1995), the prestigious National Treasure: Book of Secrets cast includes Cage’s fellow winners Helen Mirren (The Queen, 2006) and Jon Voight (Coming Home, 1978), and nominees Ed Harris (Pollock, 2000; etc.) and Harvey Keitel (Bugsy, 1991). Also: Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, and Bruce Greenwood.
Sequel is bigger global hit than original
Update: The Nicolas Cage blockbuster National Treasure: Book of Secrets reached the $200 million domestic milestone on Jan. 23, ultimately cuming at $220 million in the U.S. and Canada – easily the biggest domestic box office release of winter 2007–08.
Internationally, Book of Secrets took in $239.2 million, for a worldwide total of $459.2 million – making it a profitable mega-hit.
Its top markets were Japan ($23.9 million), Germany ($18.6 million), France ($18.1 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($17.6 million), Spain ($14.1 million), Russia/CIS ($13.6 million), Italy ($13.2 million), South Korea ($12 million), Australia ($11.8 million), Mexico ($10.6 million), and China ($10 million).
Dystopian Francis Lawrence-Will Smith action thriller I Am Legend edging closer to $250 million mark
Trailing both National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Jason Reitman’s sleeper hit and likely Oscar contender Juno ($15.9 million), Warner Bros.’ Francis Lawrence-directed post-apocalyptic action thriller I Am Legend raked in $15.7 million this past weekend, thus getting ever closer to the $250 million domestic milestone. Cume to date of this late fall release: $228.1 million.
A revamped $150 million adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel previously filmed with Charlton Heston (as The Omega Man, 1971), I Am Legend features Oscar nominee Will Smith (Ali, 2001; The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006), Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Willow Smith.
Update: The Francis Lawrence-Will Smith collaboration I Am Legend reached $250 million on Jan. 25; its final domestic cume was $256.4 million – easily the biggest fall 2007 release in the U.S. and Canada.
Internationally, I Am Legend took in $329 million, for a remarkable worldwide total of $585.4 million – enough to make this mega-budget thriller mega-profitable.
Its top markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($51.7 million), Japan ($40.3 million), Germany ($25.3 million), France ($25 million), Australia ($21.2 million), Italy ($21 million), Spain ($19.3 million), South Korea ($17.2 million), Mexico ($13.4 million), Brazil ($10.6 million), and Russia/CIS ($9.2 million).
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets Box Office” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets Box Office: Nicolas Cage Has Another Critically Derided Hit” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about National Treasure: Book of Secrets, I Am Legend, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Nicolas Cage National Treasure: Book of Secrets image: Walt Disney Pictures.
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets Box Office: Nicolas Cage Has Another Critically Derided Hit” last updated in October 2022.