The “Barbershop” comedy sequel enjoyed a hair-raising debut at the North American box office, while the hockey drama “Miracle” also scored with moviegoers, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.“Barbershop 2: Back in Business” opened at No. 1 with $25.1 million in its first three days, outperforming the $21 million bow of its 2002 predecessor.The ensemble urban comedy, headlined by Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer, revolves around the colorful employees of a traditional men’s salon in the south side of Chicago. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.“The picture’s got a lot of heart and it’s got a lot of comedy,” said MGM distribution president, Erik Lomis. About two-thirds of the audience was black, with females comprising 59 percent of viewers, he added.“Miracle,” which depicts the U.S. hockey team’s surprising victory over the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics, opened at No. 2 with $19.4 million.Kurt Russell plays the team’s coach, Herb Brooks, who died last year. The film was released by Walt Disney Pictures, a unit of Walt Disney Co.“To open a sports movie about an event you already know the result to, at this level, shows that we’ve done something right,” said Chuck Viane, Disney’s president of domestic theatrical distribution.The movie played strongly across all age groups, with males making up 55 percent of the audience, Viane said.‘Monster’ makes a killingThe top 10 contained one other new release, the children’s crime caper “Catch That Kid,” which opened at No. 6 with $6.0 million. Budgeted at about $12 million, the film was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of News Corp.’s Fox Entertainment Group Inc. Fox distribution President Bruce Snyder said he was very pleased with the opening.The Oscar-nominated drama “Monster” entered the top 10 for the first time after boosting its theater count. The film, which earned an Academy Award nod for Charlize Theron’s turn as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, earned $3.5 million, tying at No. 8 with fellow Oscar nominee “Mystic River.” “Monster” was released by closely held Newmarket Films.Last week’s No. 1, the urban dance movie “You Got Served,” fell to No. 3 in its second round with $7.7 million. After 10 days in theaters, it has earned $26.1 million. The film was released by Screen Gems, a unit of Sony Corp.The romantic comedy “Along Came Polly,” starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, slipped one place to No. 4 with $7.0 million in its fourth weekend, as its total rose to $75.2 million. The film was released by Universal Pictures, a unit of Vivendi Universal SA.“The Butterfly Effect,” a drama starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart, slid three places to No. 5 with $6.7 million. After three weekends, it has earned $41.5 million. It was released by New Line Cinema, a unit of Time Warner Inc.In the art house world, the restrictive NC-17 rating for Italian Director Bernardo Bertolucci’s period sex-triangle romp ”The Dreamers” appeared to be good for business. The Fox Searchlight release opened strongly with $150,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It will expand to more than 200 theaters nationwide on March 5.Few films are released with the NC-17 tag — “no one 17 and under admitted” — because of purported resistance from movie theaters and advertisers, but studio distribution president, Steve Gilula, said that was a myth.“The Dreamers,” revolving around three young film buffs in Paris in 1968, features full-frontal nudity, masturbation and an incestuous undertone. Fox Searchlight is also a unit of Fox Entertainment.
/ Source: Reuters