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HOLLYWOOD RECYCLES ITS GARBAGE--26 NEW SEQUELS

For the second weekend in a row [11/28-12/1], the three top box-office movies were all sequels. And only slightly behind the triumphant trio of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Die Another Day" and "The Santa Clause 2" was "Friday After Next," the third installment of the unstoppable "Friday" series (it dropped two notches from last weekend's Number 4 position).

This is great news for the people who crank out safe and sorry retreads for a living, but for some of us, it's just too much of a mediocre thing. Perhaps Hollywood has some fresh, imaginative surprises in store for us, but you couldn't prove it by this list of predictable potboilers:


ANALYZE THAT Robert De Niro, in his buffoon phase, had a whopping commercial success playing a mobster who gives shrink Billy Crystal a giant headache in 1999's "Analyze This." What took Warner Bros. and director Harold Ramis so long to get the scene-chewers back together? It must have been all those other schlock comedies De Niro's been mugging his way through. Opens on 12-6.

STAR TREK: NEMESIS How many of these things do they have to make before they get it right? Opens 12-13

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS Frodo and Sam are off to Modor, where they plan to toss the One Ring into Mount Doom. And somebody has got to find Merry and Pippen, those adorable kidnapped Hobbits. Where--and when--will it all end? Opens 12-18


Had enough? Hollywood doesn't think so. Here are a few of the sequels coming your way in the New Year...

JANUARY

Final Destination 2


FEBRUARY

The Jungle Book 2


APRIL

Ripley's Game

Like Hell: Jeepers Creepers 2


MAY

X-Men 2

Matrix Reloaded


JUNE

The Fast and the Furious 2

Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle


JULY

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Lara Croft and the Cradle of Life: Tomb Raider 2

Bad Boys 2

Exorcist: The Beginning

Spy Kids 3


NOVEMBER

The Matrix Revolutions


DECEMBER

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




Sorry but you'll have to wait until 2004 to see "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," "XXX 2" and "Jurassic Park IV." And is there anyone out there who does not believe there will be a "Sweet Home Alabama 2"?



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