Ice Cube pulled off his own box-office miracle over the weekend. No, he doesn't have a cameo part in Mel Gibson's controversial "The Passion of Christ," which doesn't open until later this month. But Cube's "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" did debut at #1 on estimated grosses of $25.1 million, beating Kurt Russell's heartwarming hockey flick, "Miracle."
With the help of Cedric "The Entertainer" and franchise addition Queen Latifah, who will weave her own Thanksgiving spin-off called "Beauty Shop," Cube and company topped the $20 million opening of the 2002 original set in a gossipy hair salon on Chicago's South Side (Click for photos from "Barbershop 2: Back in Business"). Cube clipped the competition, but Russell came in a strong #2 with an estimated $19.4 million for "Miracle," which recreates the true tale of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that scored an improbable victory over the Russian squad during the winter games.
Last week's #1 movie, "You Got Served," dropped to #3, losing more than 52 percent of its audience on grosses of $7.7 million, followed by the Ben Stiller/ Jennifer Aniston comedy "Along Came Polly," which slipped a spot to #4 on $7 million, giving it a healthy $75 million haul to date.
Last week's #5 movie, SAT caper "The Perfect Score," slid steeply to #12 on $3 million.
Ashton Kutcher's "The Butterfly Effect" fell three notches to #5 on receipts of $6.7 million, while the family-oriented bank-heist movie "Catch That Kid" debuted at #6 with $6 million. Thanks to Charlize Theron's Golden Globe win, Oscar nomination and the addition of more than 200 theaters, serial-killer drama "Monster" cracked the top 10 for the first time, coming in at #9 with $3.5 million.
The first U.S. theatrical release since 1997's "Bent" to carry the restrictive NC-17 rating, due to strong sexual content, Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" grossed $150,078 at just five theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Golden Globe winner "Osama" also opened strongly, with $53,000 on four screens in New York and Los Angeles.
Rounding out the top 10 are: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" at #7 with $4.4 million; "Mystic River" at #8 with $3.5 million and "Cold Mountain" at #10 with $3.2 million.
The top 12 movies grossed $92.8 million, down nine percent from the same weekend last year.