Nemo's still-weighty take was enough to beat last week's box office topper, 2 Fast 2 Furious, which settled in at No. 2 with $19.1 million. The high-octane actioner, however, stayed a lap ahead of the Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty, which landed in third place with $14.2 million.
With its broad appeal and strong staying power, Nemo also snuffed-out this week's three new wide releases, Hollywood Homicide, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and the animated feature Rugrats Go Wild.
Paramounts Pictures' Rugrats movie, which brings together Nickelodeon's animated franchises The Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, was hardly a match for Nemo. Oddly enough, the Nick pic garnered a PG rating for "mild crude humor," but unlike Nemo, it failed to appeal to adults and move beyond its target audience.
Ticket sales were slow this weekend compared to last year, but the box office should surge in next couple of weeks with the release of blockbusters such as The Hulk, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.
THE TOP TEN
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar Animation Studios' G rated computer-animated feature Finding Nemo jumped back to first place this week with an ESTIMATED $29.2 million (-37%) at 3,425 theaters (+34 theaters; $8,526 per theater). Its cume is approximately $192.3 million and headed for the $200 million mark.
Universal Pictures' PG-13-rated action-packed sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious fell back to No. 2 in its second week with an ESTIMATED $19.1 million (-62%) at 3,418 theaters (+10 theaters; $5,588 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84 million.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 Bruce Almighty remained in third place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $14.2 million (-36%) at 3,477 theaters (-72 theaters; $4,084 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $193.8 million and headed for the $200 million mark.
Paramount's PG rated animated feature Rugrats Go Wild opened in the No. 4 spot with an ESTIMATED $12.5 million at 3,041 theaters with a $4,110 per theater average.
The movie revolves around Nickelodeon regulars the Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys, who team up to get off a deserted island. This third Rugrats feature failed to open as strongly as the first two installments. The original pic, The Rugrats Movie opened Nov. 20, 1998, with $27.3 million, while the second installment, Rugrats in Paris - The Movie, bowed into theaters Nov. 17, 2000, with $22.7 million.
Directed by Norton Virgien and John Eng, it features the voices of Michael Bell, Jodi Carlisle, Nancy Cartwright, Lacey Chabert, Melanie Chartoff, Cheryl Chase, Tim Curry, Elizabeth Daily and Bruce Willis.
Sony Picture's PG-13 cop comedy Hollywood Homicide failed to make a splash and premiered in fifth place with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million at 2,840 theaters with a $4,120 per theater average.
In the film, a veteran police detective and his fresh-faced partner are more interested in their side jobs than in the high-profile gangland-style murder they are currently investigating.
New Line's PG-13 comedy Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd opened in sixth place with a disappointing ESTIMATED take of $11 million at 2,609 theaters with a $4,241 per theater average.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Paramount Pictures' PG-13 rated actioner The Italian Job dropped three notches to seventh in its third week with an ESTIMATED $9.5 million (-28%) at 2,697 theaters (-180 theaters; $3,522 per theater). Its cume is approximately $$55.2 million.
Warner Bros.' R rated sci-fi sequel The Matrix Reloaded fell three places to No. 8 in its fifth week with an ESTIMATED $5.5 million (-40%) at 2,350 theaters (-875 theaters; $2,347 per theater). Its cume is approximately $257.2 million.
Sony Pictures' PG-rated Daddy Day Care slipped three notches to No. 9 in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $2.1 million (-54%) at 1,982 theaters (-731 theaters; $1,060 per theater). Its cume is approximately $92.2 million.
Rounding out the Top 10 is 20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated X2: X-Men United. The comic book flick took in an ESTIMATED $1.6 million (-47%) at 1,311 theaters (-739 theaters; $1,1,220 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $207.1 million.
Miramax's R rated romantic comedy Jet Lag opened in two theaters with an ESTIMATED $20,000 with a $10,000 per theater average.
The film focuses on a world-renowned chef and a beautician who strike up an unusal relationship at a Paris airport.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $118.5 million, down 24 percent from last week's take of $156.5 million.
The Top 12 were also down 23 percent from last year's $155.8 million total.
Last year, Warner Bros.' PG rated Scooby-Doo premiered at the top of the box office with $54.1 million at 3,447 theaters ($15,711 per theater), while Universal's PG-13 rated The Bourne Identity debuted at No. 2 with $27.1 million in 2,638 theaters ($10,280 per theater); MGM's R rated Windtalkers opened in third place with $14.5 million at 2,898 theaters ($5,0010 per theater).