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Ice Cube Back in Business with New Barbershop Sequel, Not Studying Jungle Book Competition


ABC/Ida Mae AstuteIt’s good being Ice Cube.

With a near-30-year career in the business, he is showing no signs of slowing down.  It’s as if he’s dry ice — the kind that’s always hot and never melts.

Just three months ago, the Los Angeles native starred alongside Kevin Hart in Ride Along 2, which has grossed over $120 million at the worldwide box office.  This on the heels of last summer’s sleeper hit Straight Outta Compton — which he produced — grossing over $200 million globally.

And within the past week alone, the N.W.A. co-founder joined former group members in being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  And today, his latest movie, Barbershop: The Next Cut, arrives in theaters.

Directed by Malcolm Lee and also starring Cedric The Entertainer, Eve, Common, Regina Hall, Nicki Minaj and Anthony Anderson, among others, Barbershop: The Next Cut shows how the popular barbershop takes an active role in trying to end the gun violence plaguing its Chicago community. 

Although the beloved comedy franchise is taking on some weighty issues, Cube is not worried about facing box-office competition from The Jungle Book.

“Ya know, Jungle Book is cool but reality should sometimes trump fantasy, especially on something like this,” he said.  “So we’re happy with the movie we have and I think people are excited to see a contemporary story about what’s really going on on the ground today.”

The first Barbershop film grossed over $75 million at the box office off of a $12 million budget in 2002. In 2004, its sequel, Barbershop: Back In Business, did $65 million.  The Queen Latifah-fronted 2005 comedy Beauty Shop, which he produced, tapped out at a little over $37 million.

A few of Ice Cube’s other projects have spun off through the years: The 1995 sleeper hit Friday spawned 2000’s Next Friday and 2004’s Friday After Next; and 2005’s Are We There Yet spun off into 2007’s Are We Done Yet? and a TBS sitcom.

He’s like a king of sequels.  And although it’s been over a decade since he revisited this barbershop story cinematically, he was careful in his approach to the new story.

“…the key to sequels is to make standalone movies and not borrow from the previous movie,” he explained.  “You gotta make a standalone movie because you never know, a person might see the second one first and go back to the first one and then the third.”

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