Monday Morning Box Office: The Power Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

The weekend was a bittersweet blur of cheap Tijuana tequila, twenty-five cent lapdances from a pregnant stripper, and the gentle braying of the featured performer at finest donkey show you could find while half-blind from margarita poisoning. Prevent those memories from ever completely surfacing by meditating on the box office numbers.

1. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby—$23 million
We have a paranoid suspicion that Sony has now compiled a chart that converts various Will Ferrell antics into opening weekend box office dollars, indicating that each time the jiggly, pasty Ferrell frantically runs in circles while wearing nothing but a helmet and his underwear, another $10 million is accrued. The studio is currently pressuring the actor and screenwriter/director/caddy Adam McKay to build an entire movie around a similar money shot, in which Ferrell would star as a semi-nudist Viking middle-distance runner who believes his skills are derived from his magic, horned racing hat. And because we've now written ourselves into a corner with this conceit, we must provide a working title for the project: Horns Of Victory: The Thor Bj rnsson Saga.

2. Step Up—$21 million
By following up Save the Last Dance with Step Up screenwriter Duane Adler has clearly established himself as the go-to guy for movies that no straight male or female above the age of 17 should ever be allowed to see.

3. World Trade Center—$19.096 million
Paramount's executives will express public happiness about their nonexploitative 9/11 product's opening weekend, but WTC is all sad-face :-( over not evening getting to $20 million this weekend and finishing behind a silly dance movie that totally sucked up all the teen moviegoing dollars it had been hoping for. Drop by your best online pal's MySpace page and reassure it that it's still pimp =]!

4. Barnyard: The Original Party Animals—$10.069 million
Our minds are still kind of blown over Paramount's bizarre, anatomically nonsensical decision to slap udders on all of its Barnyard "cows," regardless of gender. We suggest that all male Paramount employees bring their babies to work and insist on publicly breastfeeding them as a show of protest against the studio's stupidity.

5. Pulse—$8.456 million
From IMDb: "Imagine our wireless technologies made a connection to a world beyond our own. Imagine that world used that technology as a doorway into ours. Now, imagine the connection we made can't be shut down. When you turn on your cell phone or log on to your e-mail, they'll get in, you'll be infected and they'll be able to take from you what they don't have anymore — life."

So this is where we stand in the horror genre right now: A cellphone message alert shatters an incredibly eerie silence, a terrified teen scrolls through her inbox, opens up a text message, then drops dead, having discovered the hard way that American Idol vote confirmations can be so very deadly.