‘Ricky Bobby’ Speeds Past Talking Cows To Win Box-Office Race

'Talladega Nights' earns $47 million and #1; animated 'Barnyard' follows at #2.

Ricky Bobby didn’t have to worry about counting past #1 this weekend — “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” came in at the top spot, winning the box-office race.

The NASCAR spoof that stars Will Ferrell as race-car driver Ricky Bobby, scored #1 with $47 million, according to early estimates. The comedy centers on the racing hero with a lock on winning — until French Formula One Driver Jean Girard (“Ali G” star Sacha Baron Cohen) challenges Bobby and his racing buddy Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) to step up their game (see “Ferrell’s Shameless Nudity Overshadowed By Countless Plugs In ‘Talladega’ “ ).

The #2 position in the box-office ranks was captured by another new addition to the top 10. “Barnyard: The Original Party Animals,” debuted in second place with more than $16 million. In the family-friendly film, the animals on a farm do more than just provide milk and eggs — they walk, talk, party and play pranks on each other, all while the humans are out of sight. It’s all good times in this animated film until Ben (voiced by Sam Shepard) — a cow and the leader of the animals — needs his less responsible son, Otis (Kevin James), to take over for him.

With “Talladega Nights” and “Barnyard” impacting the box-office top 10, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” was forced down another spot, falling from #2 to #3 this week. The box-office-record-setting adventure starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom earned more than $11 million (see “For Depp, Bloom And Knightley, ‘Pirates’ Is The Treasure That Keeps On Giving”) .

“Miami Vice” was hit harder by the rush of new releases. The fast-paced action film, starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as a pair of cops who go undercover to investigate international drug trafficking, dropped from #1 to #4 with more than $9.6 million its second weekend in theaters.

“The Descent” was the third new release to make its mark on the top 10 this past weekend. In the gory thriller, which bowed at #5 with $8.8 million, a group of women meet in the Appalachians for an annual caving trip. Things are going smoothly until a rock falls and blocks their way out, leaving them to face off with eerie and dangerous creatures that live beneath the earth’s surface (see “First Rule Of ‘The Descent’: You Do Not Talk About ‘The Descent’ “ ).

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“John Tucker Must Die” also features a group of females banding together for a cause — to take down a womanizing big man on campus. Starring Ashanti as a revenge-seeking girlfriend and Jesse Metcalfe as serial cheater Tucker, the comedy fell from #3 to #6 with more than $6 million.

Rounding out the box-office top 10 are “Monster House,” which slipped from #4 to #7 with $6 million; “The Ant Bully,” which fell from #5 to #8 with $3.9 million; “You, Me and Dupree,” which dropped from #7 to #9 with more than $3.6 million; and “The Night Listener,” which debuted at #10 with $3.6 million.

Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.

Next week, look for “World Trade Center,” “Step Up” and “Zoom” to debut on the box-office top 10. “Pulse,” starring Christina Milian, and “Half Nelson” are also in theaters this week.

See everything we’ve got on “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”, “Barnyard”, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”.

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