''Elf,'' ''Bruce Almighty,'' and ''Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl'' probably aren't going to win Oscar nominations for Best Picture, but they're among the top vote-getters for the 30th Annual People's Choice Awards. A month after the announcement of People's Choice nominees in TV and music categories, names of the Gallup poll-driven nominees for 2003's top movies were released on Tuesday. Leading the list, with two nods apiece, were ''Finding Nemo'' and ''The Lord of the Rings'' -- albeit 2002's installment, ''The Two Towers,'' which was a screen hit for much of 2003.
''Nemo,'' ''Two Towers,'' and ''Pirates'' are the three nominees for Favorite Motion Picture. (''Pirates'' star Johnny Depp was nominated last month for the People's Choice award for Favorite Motion Picture Actor, making him the only nominated actor or actress to star in a nominated movie.) ''Nemo'' also netted a nod for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture, along with ''Bruce'' and ''Elf.'' ''Two Towers'' was also nominated for Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture, along with ''Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'' and ''Mystic River,'' whose director, Clint Eastwood, is also up for Favorite All-Time Entertainer (against Bill Cosby and Tom Hanks).
It's not clear that People's Choice wins would help any of these films' Oscar prospects much. ''Nemo'' is a lock for a Best Animated Feature nod and a dark-seahorse candidate to be the first cartoon since 1991's ''Beauty and the Beast'' to earn a Best Picture nomination. It's doubtful that awards for ''Two Towers'' would boost ''Return of the King,'' not that it needs help maintaining its front-runner status. ''Mystic River'' is already a sure thing, though a publicity boost from another movie award wouldn't hurt ''Master and Commander,'' the People's Choice nominee most perceived as a box office underperformer. The awards will be handed out Jan. 11 on a CBS broadcast hosted by ''Two and a Half Men'' stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer.