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Wicked start for 'Sin City'

LOS ANGELES -- ''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 $13.5 million for the weekend, according to industry estimates yesterday. 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 top 12 movies took in $98.3 million, down 14 percent from the same weekend last year, when ''Hellboy" and ''Walking Tall" opened on top of the box office.

The slump follows a healthy start to 2005 in which movie revenues had surged about 10 percent ahead of 2004's. Revenues now are running even with last year's at about $2 billion heading into Hollywood's busy season.

''Summer's coming, and summer better save the day," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

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