After a stunning $26M Wednesday debut THE LORD OF THE RINGS sequel, THE TWO TOWERS, topped the box office this weekend, earning $62M for a five-day total of $102M. This puts the second film of the trilogy, once again featuring a slew of visual effects by New Zealand's Weta Digital, well in line to gross more than its predecessor 2001's THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, which earned $75.1M in its first five days, on its way to $890M worldwide. Martin Scorcese's long-delayed epic GANGS OF NEW YORK, with visual effects by ILM, had a so-so fourth place debut, earning $9.1M in just over 1,500 theaters. Nickelodeon's THE WILD THORNBERRYS MOVIE, based on the animated series of the same name, debuted in sixth place with $6.1M. Although this is below the opening weekend total's of recent animated features TREASURE PLANET ($12.1M) and Adam Sandler's EIGHT CRAZY NIGHTS ($9.4M), it is still a relatively good opening for the Klasky Csupo-animated feature, which only cost around $30M to make. The film has been well-reviewed and should benefit from the dearth of new, kid-friendly films currently in theaters. THE TWO TOWERS took away the audience for two recently released fantasy features. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, with primary visual effects by ILM, fell to eighth, earning $4.5M for a cume of $228.9M and poor STAR TREK: NEMESIS, with visual effects by Digital Domain and Eden FX, fell seven spots to ninth in its second weekend out. Losing 76% of its audience, the latest installation in the STAR TREK series earned just $4.4M for $26.5M to date. Finally, Disney's TREASURE PLANET fell well out of the top ten in its fourth week in theaters, with $1.2M for a total of $29.8M and fifteenth place. Box office information obtained from yahoo.com and boxofficemojo.com.