Will Ferrell wins the US box office weekend

Good news for anyone who had a film in the US charts with a colon in its title: you made plenty of money this weekend. Will Ferrell and Anchorman co-writer/director Adam McKay left the competition choking on dust as Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby became the highest grossing live-action comedy of the year, the eighth-highest grossing film in the same period and the funniest film ever featuring a gay Formula One driver played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Or was that one entirely made up? Still, $47 million for the first weekend is nothing to sniff at.

There were also glad tidings for Barnyard (or, to give it its full title and keep our colon theory working – Barnyard: The Original Party Animals). The story of a cow that just wants to live the easy life took in $16 million, despite the disturbing notion of a male bovine with udders.

Third was a little movie that has been struggling to bring in the money, probably because of its dangerous, buccaneer-themed plot. Kidding! Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest continued to stuff its coffers with doubloons and other swag, making $11 million this weekend and dragging that US total up to a staggering $379 million. Fourth place went to Miami Vice, which looks to be doing a candle in the wind act – it burned brightly for one week and has now been snuffed. It was Michael Mann’s biggest launch, but it’s not likely to see much profit.

Opening decently was The Descent (geddit? Decently? Des… Oh, fine) – with a swelling of British pride as our own Neil Marshall, horror genius and Total Film contributor, had America screaming to the tune of $8 million. Sixth saw school comedy John Tucker Must Die start an alarmingly swift plunge down the charts, though given its relatively slim budget, Fox won’t be too worried. Monster House is also starting to underperform a little as yet more CGI arrives in cinemas, leading studios to worry that perhaps shoving three ‘toons into cinemas across three weeks might not have been the smartest strategy. But the “D’oh!” will be heard loudest from Warner Bros, who have seen The Ant Bully get washed away by the competition. The film made $4 million and sat in eighth place this weekend, in only its second week of release.

And so to the bottom of the charts, where You, Me And Dupree held on for one last hurrah and Robin Williams’ new film – radio DJ thriller The Night Listener – opened on a few screens and did little business, taking just $3.6 million. Not quite Good Morning Vietnam, eh, Robin?