"Barbershop 2" debuted at $25.1 million, and "Miracle" opened at No. 2 with $19.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Final figures were to be released Monday.
The family flick "Catch That Kid," about a girl who organizes a bank heist to pay for her father's surgery, opened at No. 6 with $6 million.
The overall box office fell, with the top 12 movies grossing $92.8 million, down 9 percent from the same weekend last year.
Playing in 2,711 locations, "Barbershop 2" averaged a strong $9,259 a theater, compared to a $7,464 average in 2,605 cinemas for "Miracle."
"Barbershop 2" brings back Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer and the rest of the gang from 2002's hit comedy, set in a gossipy hair joint on Chicago's south side. With positive reviews, the sequel has a good shot at topping the $75 million total gross of the first "Barbershop," which took in $20.6 million over its opening weekend.
"Barbershop 2" also introduced Queen Latifah in a small role as the owner of a salon next door, the setting for her own spinoff movie "Beauty Shop," which MGM plans to release around Thanksgiving.
"Miracle" stars Russell as hockey coach Herb Brooks, who led the U.S. team to an upset victory over the powerhouse Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Distributor Disney hopes "Miracle" will have the same staying power at theaters as the studio's previous sports-themed successes "Remember the Titans" and "The Rookie."
"We all like a dose of feel-good," said Chuck Viane, Disney head of distribution. "It's interesting to have a movie in which people know the ultimate ending, yet they're on the edge of their seats. You'd swear you were at a sports arena, because the audience is so into the game."
In limited release, Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Dreamers" debuted with $150,078 at five theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, scoring an impressive average of $30,016 a cinema. Rated NC-17 for explicit sex, "The Dreamers" is a tale of first love among French siblings and their new American friend in 1968 Paris.
"Osama," an Afghan drama about a child beggar in Kabul under Taliban rule, also opened strongly with $53,000 on four screens in New York City and Los Angeles, averaging $13,250 a theater.
The following are the numbers according to Hollywood.com:
- "Barbershop 2: Back in Business," $25.1 million.
- "Miracle," $19.4 million.
- "You Got Served," $7.7 million.
- "Along Came Polly," $7 million.
- "The Butterfly Effect," $6.7 million.
- "Catch That Kid," $6 million.
- "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," $4.4
- "Monster," $3.51 million.
- "Mystic River," $3.5 million.
- "Cold Mountain," $3.2 million.