February 03, 2003 11:00 AM

Colin Farrell — who briefly dated Britney Spears last week for the Hollywood premiere of his new movie “The Recruit” — saw his CIA spy thriller with Al Pacino debut atop the box office this weekend.

The film raked in $16.5 million, just edging out another new release, “Final Destination 2,” a horror flick about death stalking students on their spring break.

Teaming Pacino, 62, with rising star Farrell, 26, was done as a means to widen the audience appeal of their movie, which drew almost equally among the 18-to-25, 26-to-34 and 35-to-49 age groups, Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, tells the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, in other movie news, Paramount Pictures has pulled its trailer for the sci-fi thriller “The Core,” which shows the Space Shuttle in jeopardy, but the studio is planning to keep to its March 28 opening date, reports Variety. Saturday’s Columbia space shuttle tragedy is being cited for the decision.

The Top 10 movies for the weekend, based on studio estimates, were as follows:

1. “The Recruit,” $16.5 million
2. “Final Destination 2,” $16.2 million
3. “Biker Boyz,” $10.1 million
4. “Kangaroo Jack,” $9 million
5. “Darkness Falls,” $7.5 million
6. “Chicago,” $7.1 million
7. “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” $5 million
8. “Just Married,” $4.9 million
9. “Catch Me If You Can,” $4.8 million
10. “About Schmidt,” $4.7 million

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