Los Angeles Johnny Depp and his pirate friends are keeping all the box-office treasure for themselves.
Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" remained the top movie for the third straight weekend, hauling in $35 million and lifting its total to $321.7 million after just 17 days, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Disney sequel passed the $305 million domestic total that its predecessor, 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," rang up during its entire six-month run.
"Dead Man's Chest" easily beat back a rush of new movies, which were led by Sony's family film "Monster House," a spooky animated tale that debuted at No. 2 with $23 million. The movie follows the adventures of a group of children at a mysterious neighbor's scary home.
Opening in third was M. Night Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water," an adult fairy tale from Warner Bros. that took in $18.2 million. Starring Paul Giamatti as an apartment manager who discovers a water nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) living beneath his complex's swimming pool, the movie was the weakest debut for writer-director Shyamalan in a string of wide releases since 1999 that included the blockbusters "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs."
Kevin Smith's "Clerks II," a Weinstein Co. and MGM follow-up to his 1994 independent-film hit about two slackers on the job, premiered at No. 6 with $9.6 million.
Overall movie business rose, with the top 12 movies taking in $143.2 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was the No. 1 movie with $28.3 million.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.
1. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," $35 million.
2. "Monster House," $23 million.
3. "Lady in the Water," $18.2 million.
4. "You, Me and Dupree," $12.8 million.
5. "Little Man," $11 million.
6. "Clerks II," $9.6 million.
7. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend," $8.7 million.
8. "Superman Returns," $7.46 million.
9. "The Devil Wears Prada," $7.43 million.
10. "Cars," $4.9 million.