“Sin City” proved an irresistible temptation for audiences as the highly stylized comic-book adaptation led the weekend box office with a $28.1 million debut.
Opening in second place was Queen Latifah’s comedy “Beauty Shop,” a spinoff of the “Barbershop” franchise, which took in an estimated $13.5 million from Friday through Sunday. Since opening Wednesday, “Beauty Shop” had grossed $17.3 million.
The comedy “Guess Who,” the previous weekend’s top-grossing movie, slipped to No. 3 with $13 million, lifting its 10-day total to $41.3 million.
Overall, movie revenues slipped for the sixth straight weekend. The slump follows a healthy start to 2005 in which movie revenues had surged about 10 percent ahead of last year.
“Summer’s coming, and summer better save the day,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “Better to have a slow pre-summer than a slow summer, I guess.”
“Sin City,” adapted from Frank Miller’s noirish comics, is set in a wicked town filled with tough guys and gorgeous dames. The movie’s huge cast includes Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Clive Owen, Elijah Wood, Alexis Bledel and Brittany Murphy.
The movie is presented largely in stark black and white, with a few splashes of color to highlight such images as splatters of blood, a woman’s blond hair or a red dress.
Costing only about $40 million to make, “Sin City” grossed nearly three-fourths of that in its first weekend, putting the movie on the fast track to profitability.
“Beauty Shop” stars Latifah reprising the hairdresser role she originated in “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” this time opening her own salon filled with wacky employees and customers.
With women making up two-thirds of the audience, distributor MGM figures “Beauty Shop” will have some longevity in theaters.
“Females, they don’t rush out to the movies the first weekend, so I think this one’s going to hang around for a while,” said Erik Lomis, MGM head of distribution.