2 Fast, 2 Furious, a digital cartoon fish and IMAX Neo?

The much-anticipated The Fast And The Furious Diesel-less sequel debuts this weekend in a marketplace crowded with a popular fish and the faux Zen of The Matrix franchise. All are heavy on CGI of various iterations, so the big question for Hollywood is: Will street-racing rule?

Universal is pulling out all the stops to put 2 Fast over the finish line first, heavily targeting the demographic that made The Fast and the Furious the $145 million surprise it became. Hot bodies, the de rigueur very, very loud hip hop soundtrack and Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution VII and Eclipse Spyder (cars that are dubiously well-known in the world of street racing) are all big parts of the ad campaign. Many of the most impressive street races in the original and follow-up, feature some eye-popping photo-real all-CGI cars.

Beaching Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo is a tall order. The pic grossed over $70 million in its first weekend and with strong word-of-mouth and with the nation’s children in a school’s-almost-out mindset, Nemo is the odds-on favorite to repeat as number one this weekend. On the plus side, 2 Fast, 2 Furious has already opened in Australia, where the grosses were 40% higher than those of its predecessor. On Thursday, the film grabbed $702,000 from 300 prints.

Also this weekend, IMAX is releasing the large-screen The Matrix Reloaded: The Imax Experience, set for a 39 Imax-screen debut today. Warner Bros. Pictures is hoping for an additional boost to its already impressive gross, which topped $232 million last weekend.