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Ice Cube's ''Next Friday'' is the surprise top movie

”The Hurricane” finishes third, but is a bust with EW Online readers

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Ice Cube learned the true meaning of T.G.I.F. this weekend as ”Next Friday,” the sequel to the rapper-actor’s 1995 sleeper hit ”Friday,” took top honors at the box office. Unharmed by negative reviews that accused the film of racial stereotypes and scatological humor, ”Next Friday” raked in $14.5 million, more than half of what ”Friday” took in during its entire theatrical run.

Coming in a distant second was the little mouse that roared, ”Stuart Little,” which grossed $9.7 million, making it the latest feel-good film to pass the $100 million barrier. The equally cuddly ”The Green Mile” also held strong after more than a month, coming in fifth place with $7.6 million for $101 million total. And, even though ”Toy Story 2” dropped, its ninth-place showing ($5.0 million) brought its total earnings up to an impressive $225 million.

CRITICAL MASS ”The Hurricane” and ”Girl, Interrupted,” which both were bumped up to wide release this weekend, came in third ($9.1 million) and fourth ($8.2 million) place, respectively. But Denzel Washington’s lead over the mental-hospital chick flick looks shaky. ”The Hurricane” earned a dismal C rating overall with EW Online readers, with women dismissing it with a D+ despite Washington’s impressively well-defined abs.

In contrast, ”Girl, Interrupted” showed potential fiscal fitness with an A- overall, receiving the same score from both male and female readers. Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder will need all the positive word of mouth they can get, considering that dark dramas have scored poorly this season. ”The Talented Mr. Ripley” lingered in 7th place this weekend with $6.0 million, and ”Magnolia” and ”Snow Falling on Cedars” both dropped out of the top 10.

To register your votes on these and other current movies, visit EW Online’s Critical Mass Movie Poll.