Ocean's Twelve: Ralph Nelson
December 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Happy holidays, theater owners: The Christmas movie rush is officially on. This weekend sees the debut of two potential high grossers, Ocean?s Twelve and Blade: Trinity. After three weeks at the top of the box office chart with National Treasure, Nicolas Cage can kiss that position goodbye.

Ocean’s Twelve should easily take over as the country’s top film, thanks to its mountain of publicity (including the cover of Entertainment Weekly) and nonstop parade of stars. George Clooney and Co.’s Ocean’s Eleven remake opened with $38.1 million three years ago; expect the sequel to beat that with a $45 million debut.

Blade: Trinity, meanwhile, hopes to top the $32.5 million premiere of Blade II. And with Wesley Snipes back in action (and the addition of teen fave Jessica Biel), sci-fi fans should turn out in full force. After earning about $10 million in its first two days (the film opened Wednesday), Blade: Trinity should see a $28 million three-day weekend.

That’ll push National Treasure down to third place. A 50 percent drop from last weekend would result in another $9 million for the thriller. And the family hits The Polar Express and Christmas With the Kranks will each gross another $6 million. But for most moviegoers this weekend, a trip to the multiplex will mean a break from thinking about the holidays.

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