It was close, but Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby beat Step Up by a nose at the box office. The Will Ferrell comedy came in first place for the second week in a row, finishing with $23 million. That brings the NASCAR-laugher up to $91.2 million for two weeks, making it an enormous success for Sony, considering the budget was $72 million.
Disney's Step Up danced its way into second place with an extremely impressive $21 million. The film, which was shot and about Baltimore dance, actually came in first place on its opening night of Friday with $8.55 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
In third place, Paramount's account of September 11th - World Trade Center; the film centers around the survival of two New York Port Authority officers on that tragic day. The Oliver Stone-directed film took in $19 million, bringing its 5 day total to $26.8; the studio opened the movie on Wednesday.
Paramount came in fourth place as well, but with a much different movie, their animated flick, Barnyard, which earned $10 million over the weekend. The kids movie about farm animals stars the voice talents of Kevin James, Courteney Cox, Sam Elliott, and Andie MacDowell; after two weeks, the film has made $34 million.
The horror flick Pulse opened in fifth place with $8.4 million for the weekend; The Weinstein Co. movie stars Kristen Bell, Christina Milian, and Lost's Ian Somerhalder in the remake of the Japanese film, Kairo.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest slipped a few spots to number six, but after six weeks. The Disney movie took in $7.2 million to bring the total up to $392.4 million and internationally, it's made about the same - $392.5 for a world wide total of nearly $785 million.
The Descent spelunked to seventh place this weekend for a total of $4.6 million to take the two week total to $17.5 million. The horror has been scarring audiences all over the country, and it's being called the best horror in a long time.
Sony didn't do so well with Zoom, the Tim Allen/Courteney Cox comic hero film. It fell to eighth place in its debut with only $4.6 million. The film also stars Chevy Chase, Rip Torn, Spencer Breslin, and Kate Mara; Tim stars as a former comic legend who returns for one final battle.
Miami Vice sunk to ninth place; the Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx action flick made $4.54 million over the weekend. Michael Mann directed the adaptation of the classic 1980's TV show; in three weeks, it's only made $55 million - almost $100 million less than the production budget.
And Sony rounds out the top ten with their animated film, Monster House - with three spots on the list, they can pretty much forget about Zoom. The Sony Animation creation brought in $3.3 million this weekend, raising its four week total to $63.6 million.
Next week, a slew of films are arriving in theaters - my favorite has to be Accepted, starring Justin Long as a kid who doesn't get into college so he makes one up. The film is so hilarious, it's stupid - and it's rated PG-13. I've compared it to Animal House on this level - it also stars Lewis Black as the fake dean of the school; his comic timing and delivery is fantastic!
Also hitting theaters this week, New Line's Snakes on a Plane - 'the most anticipated film of the summer.' The thriller stars Sam Jackson as a police agent escorting a prisoner on a plane when a box of poisonous snakes get loose. The thing about this film is people had been talking about it for so long before it came out, the studio went back and re-shot the movie to make it an R rating.
Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel star in The Illusionist. A period piece about a famous magician on the run from the police for attempted murder; Ed plays the magician, Paul plays the lead detective, and Jessica is Ed's love interest.
And in select theaters, 10th & Wolf - making his directorial debut, Bobby Moresco, the co-writer of Crash, tells the true story of the real Donnie Brasco. Set in 1990's Philadelphia, James Marsden comes back from the Marines to help his cousin, Giovanni Ribisi recapture the glory days as part of the mob 'family.'
Hilary and Hailey Duff star in Material Girls playing heiresses to a cosmetics fortune. Also, David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Billy Crudup star in the romantic comedy, Trust the Man.
Finally, Matt Dillon stars in Factotum, based on the Charles Bukowski novel; he plays a struggling writer, who gets fired from every job he has. The film has been in the can for about two years and is finally being released.