The two best movies out there, Little Miss Sunshine and Brothers of the Head, weren’t even in the Top 10.

MONDAY MORNING FINISH LINE

Will Finds a Way, DMX’s Dog has its Day, Love Dolls, Lollapalooza, Warped Reviews, Idol vs. Idol, Carey’s On, Simon Says, The Kids are Bored, Alright?
The summer moves into its waning days, with Will Ferrell racing to the top of the box office, DMX barking, Tower reeling and Paris Hilton now celibate. Just another Monday morning in early 21st century America, folks, brought to you by Wonder Bread and Powerade.

Ferrell's NASCAR spoof Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby crossed the finish line #1 in the weekend box office race, taking in a cool $47 million for Sony Pictures, with Paramount Pictures’ animated Barnyard: The Original Party Animals finishing a surprisingly strong second with $16 million, after the relative soft openings for feature-length cartoons such as Monster House and Ant Bully. Overall, box office revenue for the top dozen films was up 17% over the same week last year. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest earned another $11 million to place third, giving it a total of $380 million after five weeks. Miami Vice earned $9.7 million in its second week of release to slip to #4, The Descent earned $8.8 million for fifth, John Tucker Must Die was sixth with $6.05 million in its second week, Monster House was #7 with $6 million and Ant Bully was eighth with $3.9 million. Rounding out the Top 10 were The Night Listener and You, Me and Dupree, placing ninth and 10th in a virtual deadlock with $3.6 million apiece. The two best movies out there, Little Miss Sunshine and Brothers of the Head, weren’t even in the Top 10.

Look for Sony Urban/Columbia comeback-ing rapper DMX's Year of the Dog Again to go head to head with Sony Music’s Now 22 for the top spot on Tuesday’s HITS Album chart, with between 125-130k apiece. The other major debuts will be Razor & Tie’s phenomenally successful Kidz Bop Kids series, now in its 10th edition, with 85-90k, Roadrunner’s Stone Sour looking at a #4 bow with 75-80k and Columbia’s Five for Fighting, which should crack the Top 10 with 50-55k.

IN LOVE WITH THE DOLLS: Check out Village Voice scribe Robert Christgau’s wonderful review of the terrific new New York Dolls album, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, on Roadrunner here.

WIKISTOCK: The N.Y. TimesRobert Levine covers the second annual Wikimania conference at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA, for contributors to the online compendium of knowledge here. Meanwhile, the paper reports on the obsolescence of the old-fashioned TV picture tube here.

LOLLA-GAGGING: The Times’ venerable Jon Pareles runs down this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago here. Fellow critic Kelefa Sanneh tackles the Warped tour here.

IDOL VS. IDOL: American Idol competitors Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, who finished 1-2 on the popular TV show in 2003, will go head-to-head in the marketplace when their latest albums come out in Sept. Aiken's third RCA Records album, A Thousand Different Ways, will be in stores Sept. 19, while Studdard’s The Return comes out the following week on J Records. Aiken’s new CD combines 10 cover versions of well-known songs from the '70s, '80s and '90s, including Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do (I Do It For You),” Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” with four new songs. Studdard's latest follows his 2004 gospel album, I Need an Angel, with the first track, "The Return of the Velvet Teddy Bear."

MIMI IN MIAMI: The L.A. TimesAnn Powers covers the opening of Mariah Carey’s “The Adventures of Mimi” tour in Miami and gives a positive review here. “ From the moment she entered in a black bikini with boy-cut bottom and a chiffon cape, offering up her trademark high notes and striking poses with her masked male dancers, Carey treated the evening like a qualifying round that she was determined to win.” The Times it is a changing… You’d never have seen a rave like that when Bob Hilburn was in charge.

NO IDOL HAND: The L.A. Times reports on American Idol creator Simon Fuller’s ambitious plans to expand the show here.

THE MALAISE GENERATION: Today’s highly coveted, multi-tasking 12-to-24-year-old demo is “bored with their entertainment choices,” according to a report in today’s L.A. Times here.

ON THIS DATE:

In 1948: Country great Hank Williams made his first performance on KWKH's Louisiana Hayride radio show.

In 1954: Johnny Cash married Vivian Liberto before moving to Memphis, TN.

In 1955: Ed Sullivan played host to Bill Haley & the Comets, bringing rock & roll to the masses with their song "Rock Around the Clock."

In 1957: The Quarry Men Skiffle Group, led by a young John Lennon, performed at Liverpool's Cavern Club. Lennon had met Paul McCartney a month earlier, but “The Walrus” did not join the band onstage because he was away at scout camp.

In 1965: In England, The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" was knocked out of the number one spot by The Beatles' "Help!"

In 1970: Fleetwood Mac welcomed new member Christine McVie, the wife of bass player John McVie and a former vocalist with Chicken Shack.

In 1971: The Bee Gees got their first #1 hit with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart."

In 1971: At Los Angeles’ Pauley Pavilion, Frank Zappa & the Mothers played the gig that became their album Just Another Band from L.A. It was their last album with ex-Turtles Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who left the band to become Flo & Eddie.

In 1974; The J. Geils Band’s Peter Wolf married actress Faye Dunaway in Beverly Hills.

In 1982: Sting sued Virgin Music Publishing, alleging that the deal he signed with the company gave it unfair control of his early material.

In 1982: John Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane” entered the top 40. The song would become his first #1 hit.

In 1985: Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall became the proud parents of James Leroy Jagger.

In 1987L A judge threw out a suit against the singer Ozzy Osbourne that alleged his song “Suicide Solution” led one fan to commit suicide in 1984. A later appeal by the plaintiffs was defeated in 1988.

In 1987: The Grateful Dead’s In the Dark on Arista Records became their first Top10 album in 22 years.

In 1991: Axl Rose was charged with assault and property damage after a riot followed an aborted Guns N’ Roses show in St. Louis.

In 1991: In the continuing struggle to pay off his back taxes, Willie Nelson sold his Colorado ranch for 803-thousand dollars.

In 1994: Celebrity accountant Martin Stainton vanished taking with him a lot of money belonging to Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Simple Minds.

In 2002: Ozzy Osbourne cut short an extended break from OzzFest and rejoined the metal festival in Clarkston, MI. Ozzy had left to look after wife Sharon during her chemotherapy.

In 2002: Los Angeles police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil after he was charged with misdemeanor battery.

In 2002: R. Kelly’s lawyers in his child pornography trial gave the judge a videotape of The Judge Mathis Show that featured Kelly’s look-alike brother. Kelly’s attorneys hoped to argue that it was possible that the man in the widely distributed videotapes may be someone who just looks like the singer.

In 2003: Usher released his album 8701, named after the day it landed in stores. With the hits "U Remind Me" and "U Don't Have to Call," it hit the Top Five.

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