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<i>2Fast  2Furious</i> Tops US Most Popular Movie List


A fast and furious sequel races to the top of the North American box office chart and is the week's lone new entry. Meanwhile a family fish tale continues to please audiences to come in a close second. Alan Silverman lists the top five films starting with a sci-fi dramatic sequel at number five.

Humans fight for survival and their freedom in a future world dominated by computers and machines in the sequel to the 1999 blockbuster hit The Matrix Reloaded. The story concludes with a third film coming out in November. The biggest box office hit of the year so far, it's been dropping rapidly and The Matrix Reloaded ends up in fifth place.

Thieves deceive thieves to retrieve a huge haul of stolen gold in The Italian Job. The 1969 heist caper of the same name starred Michael Caine; this new one features Mark Wahlberg.

"This certainly isn't a remake," notes Wahlberg. "This has the spirit of the original and, obviously, the title and the character name and the cars, but it's certainly its own movie and has a life of its own. I think we did the original a lot of justice, but this movie far surpasses that."

It co-stars Edward Norton, Charlize Theron and Donald Sutherland and The Italian Job is at number four.

Jim Carrey stars as a chronic complainer who gets God's attention in the comedy Bruce Almighty.

Naturally he learns there's more to running the universe than meets the eye, and that he should really appreciate and take care of what he has. Jennifer Aniston costars and said keeping up with Carrey's keen physical comedy is a challenge.

"He says 'okay, have you ever done a wrestling flip?' I say 'no, do I look like somebody who has done a wrestling flip?' He says 'okay, it's going to be really hilarious. You're going to come out and I'm going to take you and put my hand here and I'm just going to flip you over my head and you're going to land on the bed' as though it's the easiest thing in the world to do. For some reason you just say yes," says Aniston.

Bruce Almighty slips to third place.

Finding Nemo, from Pixar computer animation studio, is a gentle and hilarious family comedy about a father clownfish searching for his lost son with the help of an ocean full of fellow sea creatures.

The English language version features Albert Brooks as the voice of the frantic father fish; Ellen DeGeneres plays his slightly mixed up traveling companion; and Andrew Stanton the film's director does the voice of Crush the sea turtle. Stanton says it was great fun coming up with the various undersea personalities.

"To be honest, that's the part that makes me feel like I'm six again going 'I wonder what a seagull would be like?' I grew up near the ocean and maybe I'm weird," he says, "but I just thought of that stuff all the time and so it seems like a fun opportunity. You say 'okay, here's my chance to personalize a sea turtle. What's it going to be?' "

Finding Nemo continues to break box office records. It had the best opening weekend ever for an animated feature and now it's the fastest ever to surpass $100 million in ticket sales. Finding Nemo is in second place this week, bumped from the top by the debut of an action sequel set in the high octane world of illegal street racing, 2Fast 2Furious.

Paul Walker plays the only character carried over from 2001 original The Fast and the Furious and the action moves east, from California to the sexy streets of Miami in the sequel directed by John Singleton.

"One of the ways in which I approached the picture was to highlight the machines and how cool they were, but also highlight the people in the machines too," explains Singleton. "You don't go to the movie just to see the cars; you want to see cool people driving the cars."

Also featuring rap music star turned actor, Tyrese Gibson, and hotter, faster cars than the first film. 2Fast 2Furious roars to the top of the chart to open up as the new most popular movie at North American theaters.

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