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<i>Daredevil</i> Tops US Most Popular Movie List - 2003-02-21

A comic book superhero is the new box office champion at North American theaters; and an animated sequel has the "bare necessities" to make it onto the chart. Alan Silverman lists the top five films starting with an action comedy that drops to fifth place

Shanghai Knights, sequel to the 2000 hit Shanghai Noon renews the partnership of droll American Owen Wilson with Hong Kong martial arts comedy star Jackie Chan.

His character makes it easier for me because if you just saw my character by itself you might say 'oh, okay, another Rush Hour or Jackie Chan Police Story. His character is lazy, selfish, always takes the credit, when the fighting is going on he's hiding and after it's finished he comes out. He loves every girl. When we two join together it is a good partnership and makes it easier for me to act and makes my character more lovable.

This adventure takes the two from the "wild west" to Victorian England; and Shanghai Knights ends up in fifth place.

The sequel to an animated family favorite from Disney debuts at number four.

The man-cub Mowgli, the fun-loving bear Baloo and the rest of the characters adapted from Rudyard Kipling are back in The Jungle Book 2This time around, John Goodman is behind Baloo and Haley Joel Osment is the voice of Mowgli.

"It is completely different and more relaxed recording it because you don't have to worry about what you're looking like or anything like that; you only have to concentrate on what you sound like," he says. " But it can be deceiving how easy it seems just to be using your voice, because it's really hard to get what you want to get across just by using your voice."

The original film has been a family classic since it came out in 1967 and The Jungle Book 2 opens up in fourth place.

The name on a lot of people's "must see" list is Chicago The film adaptation of the hit musical stage play is the front-runner in this year's Oscar race with 13 nominations, including best actress for its star Renee Zellweger:

"That matters a lot because it says that what you did mattered," she says, "but I have this perpetual disease that we like to call 'impostor syndrome' where all I ever see are the 'would've, could've, should've.' I always feel like I'm going to get fired and always feel like I don't know what I'm doing and I've just resigned myself to that part of who I am. Now I just throw my hands up to it, trust whoever is in charge and go on from there."

Chicago goes on to bigger audiences as it expands to more theaters and the musical is held over in third place.

She is a beautiful magazine reporter on assignment to make a guy reject her; he is a handsome advertising executive whose big account depends on him getting her to fall for him. Neither knows what the other is up to until their relationship begins to blossom in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey co-star and the romantic comedy, which opened at number one last week, is bumped from the top by a pumped-up Ben Affleck starring as the blind superhero Daredevil, who takes the law into his own hands to stop the bad guys.

"I think it's a reflection of a feeling that as people feel more and more in jeopardy they want their guardians or watchmen or policemen and even vigilantes: there's more sympathy for them," he says. "I think, probably, that trend means people are more interested in stories about heroes and the conflict of people being out there trying to protect us at large. I don't know if that's going to help us or hurt us with the movie, but I do think it's interesting to note that, as a society, we're more willing to be less restrictive of the people who are protecting us and, maybe, less judgmental of them."

Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell co-star and Daredevil swings into action as the new most popular movie at North American theaters.