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In the news: 'Talladega Nights' tops weekend box office

Published August 7, 2006

Will Ferrell's NASCAR spoof Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby had a No. 1 finish in the weekend box office race, taking in $47-million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"When you have Will Ferrell and NASCAR, you just know you are going to have a crowd pleaser. But this was way beyond expectations," said Rory Bruer, president of distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Also making a surprising debut was the animated Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, placing second with $16-million.

"It was at the high end of anybody's expectations. We're thrilled," said Don Harris, executive vice president for distribution at Paramount Pictures.

Overall, box office revenue for the top dozen films was up 17 percent over the same week last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., which tracks box office performance.

Lyrics influence when teens start sex, study finds

Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

Songs depicting men as "sex-driven studs," women as sex objects and with explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those where sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear more committed, the study found.

Teens who said they listened to lots of music with degrading sexual messages were almost twice as likely to start having intercourse or other sexual activities within the following two years.

The study, based on telephone interviews with 1,461 participants aged 12 to 17, appears in the August issue of Pediatrics, being released today.

In another study appearing in Pediatrics, teenagers who watched pro wrestling on TV were more likely to behave violently than other kids, and girls seemed to be more influenced than boys.

The study suggested that teenagers who watched wrestling shows like RAW and SmackDown had a tendency toward violence, including carrying weapons and fighting on dates.

A team led by Robert H. DuRant, a professor of pediatrics, social science and health policy at Wake Forest's Baptist Medical Center, surveyed about 2,000 students in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County public high schools.


[Last modified August 7, 2006, 05:15:50]

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