LOS ANGELES (AP) -Movie-goers are feeling good about hair and hockey.

Ice Cube’s upbeat sequel “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” debuted as the top weekend movie with $25.1 million, while Kurt Russell’s inspiring hockey tale “Miracle” opened at No. 2 with $19.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

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 a salon owner 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.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” $25.1 million.

2. “Miracle,” $19.4 million.

3. “You Got Served,” $7.7 million.

4. “Along Came Polly,” $7 million.

5. “The Butterfly Effect,” $6.7 million.

6. “Catch That Kid,” $6 million.

7. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” $4.4 million.

8. “Monster,” $3.51 million.

9. “Mystic River,” $3.5 million.

10. “Cold Mountain,” $3.2 million.

AP-ES-02-08-04 1419EST



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