January 21, 2003 12:02 PM

Critics may have jumped all over “Kangaroo Jack” — and not in a good way — but the comedy about two young lugs and a kangaroo who made off with their Mob-connected money was the weekend’s No. 1 movie, outperforming the new Martin Lawrence-Steve Zahn buddy flick “National Security.”

“Kangaroo,” starring LINK 129436 “Jerry O’Connell” “U”], pulled in $17.7 million, topping “National Security”‘s $15.7 million haul.

Last weekend’s No. 1 film, the Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy “Just Married,” slipped to third place, while — still going strong — “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” earned an estimated $11.4 million in its fifth week of release, for a total of $299 million.

On Monday, the movie was due to make movie history, when it was expected to surpass the $300 million mark at the box office.

The Top 10 movies from Friday to Sunday, according to studio estimates, were as follows:

1. “Kangaroo Jack,” $17.7 million
2. “National Security,” $15.7 million
3. “Just Married,” $12.5 million
4. “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” $11.4 million
5. “Catch Me If You Can,” $11.3 million
6. “Chicago,” $8 million
7. “A Guy Thing,” $7.1 million
8. “About Schmidt,” $6.3 million
9. “The Hours,” $4.7 million
10. “Two Weeks Notice,” $4.1 million

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