While four new releases revved their engines in an effort to finish at #1 on the box-office top 10, race-car driver Ricky Bobby easily claimed the trophy for the second week in a row.
The Will Ferrell comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” held its own against new challengers “Step Up,” “World Trade Center,” “Pulse” and “Zoom” — sticking at #1 with $23 million, according to early estimates. Ferrell stars in the spoof as a driving superstar who places first in nearly every race until a French Formula One driver threatens to steal his thunder (see “Ferrell’s Shameless Nudity Overshadowed By Countless Plugs In ’Talladega’ “ ).
The dance flick “Step Up” came up close behind “Talladega Nights,” bowing at #2 with more than $21 million. In the film, a rebel from the wrong side of Baltimore’s tracks — who also happens to be a great street dancer — is forced to do community service at the Baltimore School of the Arts, where he meets a ballet dancer who enlists him to be her partner.
“World Trade Center” entered the top 10 at #3 after earning more than $19 million over the weekend — and a total of $26.8 million since it opened Wednesday. The film about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks stars Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña and focuses on the stories of two Port Authority police, Sergeant John McLoughlin and Officer Will Jimeno, who went into the towers on a rescue mission and were trapped when the buildings collapsed (see ” ’World Trade Center': An Enormous Tragedy Captured On A Small Scale” ).
With two new releases riding high on the top 10, “Barnyard: The Original Party Animals” dropped from #2 to #4. The animated family film — which reveals what happens on a farm when the humans aren’t looking — earned more than $10 million its second weekend in theaters.
“Pulse,” the fright flick featuring Christina Milian and “Veronica Mars” star Kristen Bell, bowed at #5 with more than $8.4 million. The thriller explores a mysterious and powerful force that uses everyday wireless technology to do its evil bidding (see “Kristen Bell, Christina Milian Face Pop-Up Ad From Hell In ’Pulse’ “ ).
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” dropped three spots from #3 to #6 after earning more than $7.2 million during its sixth weekend in theaters. Starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, the film has pulled in $392.4 million in U.S. ticket sales since its debut (see “For Depp, Bloom And Knightley, ’Pirates’ Is The Treasure That Keeps On Giving” ).
Rounding out this week’s box-office top 10 are “Zoom,” which debuts at #7 with $4.6 million; “The Descent,” which falls from #5 to #8 with $4.6 million; “Miami Vice,” which tumbles from #4 to #9 with more than $4.5 million; and “Monster House,” which slips from #7 to #10 with $3.3 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for “Snakes on a Plane,” “Material Girls” and “Accepted” to debut on the box-office top 10.
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