Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City movie slipped to second place in the weekend box office derby with an estimated total of $14.1 million.  Attendance at Sin City dropped 51.5% from last weekend, but the film has already earned $51 million and its per theater average of $4,369 was second only to newcomer Sahara's $5,865 among widely released films.  Though it trailed Sahara (est. $18.5 million), Sin City finished ahead of Fever Pitch (est. $13 million), the new date comedy from the Farrelly brothers picked by many Hollywood experts to dominate the weekend box office.  Sin City appears likely to surpass the box office take of the Dark Horse Comics-based Hellboy ($59 million domestic gross) and also eclipse the box office record for neo-noir titles held by L.A. Confidential ($64 million).


One genre film to watch closely is Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle, which had a limited, but extremely strong opening in just seven theaters averaging $41,857 per location.  Kung Fu Hustle goes into wider release next weekend and is a virtual lock to become a cult classic.  Miramax screwed up the American release of Chow's Shaolin Soccer, but Sony Pictures Classics is determined not to replicate the Miramax meddling with the 'R' rated Kung Fu Hustle, and the 'hands off' approach should please martial arts movie fans.