Cube, Eve Top Box Office In 'Barbershop'

The MGM film "Barbershop," which stars rappers-turned-actors Ice Cube and Eve, was clearly a cut above the rest this weekend at the box office in North America. The movie exceeded expectations and deb

The MGM film "Barbershop," which stars rappers-turned-actors Ice Cube and Eve, was clearly a cut above the rest this weekend at the box office in North America. The movie exceeded expectations and debuted with a sterling estimate of $21 million to take the top spot. If that estimate holds, the opening for "Barbershop" will historically be the third biggest in September after New Line's "Rush Hour" ($33 million) and Paramount's "Double Jeopardy" ($23.2 million).

The urban comedy had a relatively modest theater count of 1,605, which translates to a solid average of $13,084 per-theater. As previously reported, "Barbershop" also stars Cedric The Entertainer and Sean Patrick Thomas.

Prior to the film's debut, a soundtrack featuring fresh cuts by Fabolous, P. Diddy, Jagged Edge, Glenn Lewis, and Amel Larrieux, was released by Epic, and led by the single "Stingy" by Ginuwine, which is No. 42 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The album debuted earlier this month at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Soundtracks chart, No. 10 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, and No. 30 on The Billboard 200.

Overall, box office business this weekend was a welcome respite for the industry as the strong debut of "Barbershop," combined with some solid performances lower in the rankings, led the weekend to its first up session in nine weeks, as compared with 2001. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (IFC) was the No. 2 film with an estimated $11 million, followed by "One Hour Photo" (Fox Searchlight, $7.7 million), "Stealing Harvard" (Sony, $6.3 million), and last week's No. 1, "Swimfan" (20th Century Fox, $6.1 million).