With so many class acts in contention for the Golden Globes today(Jan 19) it was little surprise that audiences craved some throatier laughsover the weekend, propelling Warner Bros' Kangaroo Jack and Columbia's National Security into first and second places on $17.7mand $15.7m respectively. The two openers shunted last week's topper, the Foxcomedy Just Married,into third place on $12.5m for a $34m running score after 10 days. New Line's TheLord Of The Rings: The Two Towers strode towards the $300m mark, dropping two to fourth on $11.4mfor a staggering $298.9m in its fifth week. Rounding out the top half of thetable in fifth was DreamWorks' Catch Me If You Can, which fell two places but continued todo tremendous business, grossing $11.3m in its fourth week for a $135mcumulative score. All figures are based on three-day studio estimates. Four-dayestimates will be released on Jan 20 with final results out on Jan 21.

One other opener broke into the top 10 over the weekend: MGM'sromantic comedy A Guy Thing was ranked seventh on $7.1m. All three new releases were savagedby the critics, who saved their most disparaging remarks for the $60m KangarooJack. The picture isbased on a common urban myth - or in this case, an Outback myth - as twosmall-time crooks on business in Australia dress up a kangaroo in a jacketcontaining mob money for a photograph, only for the creature to hop off intothe bush. Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson star, with support from EstellaWarren and Christopher Walken. David McNally, whose credits include CoyoteUgly, directed for his CoyoteUgly producer JerryBruckheimer. Kangaroo Jack averaged $6,273 from 2,818 theatres.

National Security sees Martin Lawrence's security guard team up with Steve Zahn'sex-cop to break a smuggling ring. It was directed by Dennis Dugan, his firstproject since Saving Silverman, and averaged $5,753 from 2,729 sites. A Guy Thing, in which a man wakes up from hisbachelor party in bed with his fiancee's cousin, averaged $2,823 from 2,515theatres. Jason Lee, Julia Stiles and Selma Blair star and the picture wasdirected by Chris Koch, who directed Snow Day in 2000.

The awards-heavy lower echelons of the chart features GoldenGlobes favourite Chicago, with eight nominations, staying in sixth place on $8m for $27.7min its fourth week. Miramax's Broadway adaptation averaged $14,362 from 557theatres after expanding into a further 195. Down three to eighth was NewLine's About Schmidt,which added $6.3m to the coffers for a $30.1m running score in its sixth week.It expanded into another 81 theatres and averaged $6,633 from 946 sites. Inninth place, up 13 from 22, was Paramount's The Hours, which grossed $4.7m for a $7.4m totalin its fourth week. A leading awards contender, it expanded into a further 357theatres, averaging $11,753 from 402 venues. Rounding out the top ten was theWarner Bros romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice, which fell six places and grossed $4.1mfor a strong $85.1m in its fifth week.

Overall the top 12 pictures grossed $105.9m, up a fraction fromthe same period last year and representing an unspectacular but solid MartinLuther King weekend. Next weekend is Superbowl Weekend and a predictably skimpyrelease window is led by Revolution/Columbia's horror tale Darkness Falls, starring Chaney Kley and EmmaCaulfield.

Estimated Top Ten US January 17-19, 2003

Film (Distributor)/International distribution/Estimated weekendgross/Estimated total to date

1 (-) Kangaroo Jack (Warner Bros) Warner Bros $17.68m -

2 (-) National Security (Columbia) Columbia TriStar $15.7m -

3 (1) Just Married (Fox) Fox International $12.45m $34m

4 (2) The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (New Line) New Line International$11.38m $298.99m

5 (3) Catch Me If You Can (DreamWorks) UIP $11.3m $135m

6 (6) Chicago (Miramax) Miramax International $8m $27.7m

7 (-) A Guy Thing (MGM) Fox International $7.1m

8 (5) About Schmidt (New Line) New Line International $6.28m $30.14m

9 (22) The Hours (Paramount/Miramax) $4.73m $7.42m

10 (4) TwoWeeks Notice (WarnerBros) Warner Bros $4.1m $85.09m