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Front-runner 'Ricky Bobby' holds off newcomers at theaters

| Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2006

Four newcomers are playing to mixed results at local multiplexes, but none is moving quite fast enough to unseat "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" with Will Ferrell as the No. 1 movie locally and nationally. "Talladega" is off 57 percent here.

The surprise is "Step Up," which was expected to open at between $8 million and $10.5 million, and debuted instead in the $20 million range. A predominantly female audience powered the picture to a hefty debut Friday. Attendance began eroding quickly on Saturday, though.

Jenna Dewan plays a performing arts high school student dancer who turns naughty boy Channing Tatum into her scholarship showcase partner. It's No. 2 on both charts.

Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," another newcomer, is third, although it has taken in more money than "Step Up" by virtue of opening Wednesday and getting a two-day head start. It even beat "Step Up" on Saturday and Sunday.

Fourth is another newcomer, the teen semi-horror film "Pulse."

The animated "Barnyard" falls to fifth place, off 45 percent here.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is sixth locally with a 29 percent drop in attendance. It's No. 7 on the all-time North American box-office chart and certain to climb at least one more notch.

"The Descent" fades 49 percent and lands in seventh place here.

No. 8 locally is "The Devil Wears Prada," a durable item that is off only 17 percent.

"Zoom" crawls into ninth spot in its debut, a rare Tim Allen comedy to flop.

"The Night Listener" tumbles 70 percent in its second weekend, lacking sustained advertising support. It's 10th here.

Due Friday are "Accepted," "Snakes on a Plane," "Once in a Lifetime," "Sisters in Law," "Only Human," "Little Miss Sunshine," the re-release of "The Fallen Idol," "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and "Material Girls."

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