‘Harry Potter’ is No. 1 in U.S. Theaters

July 22, 2009

LOS ANGELES, July 19 (UPI) — J.K. Rowling’s young wizard conjured a fortune this weekend with “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” No. 1 in U.S. theaters, Box Office Mojo said Sunday.

The latest movie installment of the British author’s fantastical novels, with Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, piled up an estimated $79.48 million in its first weekend in U.S. theaters.

The animated “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” stayed No. 2 with $17.7 million. and the science-fiction adventure “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was still No. 3 with $13.75 million.

Last weekend’s top-grossing movie, the mockumentary “Bruno,” fell to No. 4 in its second week with $8.37 million, followed by “The Hangover,” which moved back up a spot to No. 5 with $8.32 million in its seventh week in U.S. theaters.

Rounding out the Top 10 were “The Proposal” with an estimated $8.23 million in ticket sales, “Public Enemies” at $7.59 million, “Up” at $3.15 million, “My Sister’s Keeper” at $2.83 million and “I Love You Beth Cooper” at $2.7 million.

“The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” dropped out of the top tier in its sixth week.

Another new offering, “500 Days of Summer,” a romantic comedy starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, debuted at No. 12 with just $838,000 in gate receipts.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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PETA wishes Obama hadn’t swatted that fly

June 21, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants the flyswatter in chief to try taking a more humane attitude the next time he’s bedeviled by a fly in the White House.

PETA is sending President Barack Obama a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher, a device that allows users to trap a house fly and then release it outside.

“We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals,” PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said Wednesday. “We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals.”

During an interview for CNBC at the White House on Tuesday, a fly intruded on Obama’s conversation with correspondent John Harwood.

“Get out of here,” the president told the pesky insect. When it didn’t, he waited for the fly to settle, put his hand up and then smacked it dead.

“Now, where were we?” Obama asked Harwood. Then he added: “That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it? I got the sucker.”

Friedrich said that PETA was pleased with Obama’s voting record in the Senate on behalf of animal rights and noted that he has been outspoken against animal abuses.

Still, “swatting a fly on TV indicates he’s not perfect,” Friedrich said, “and we’re happy to say that we wish he hadn’t.”

Deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said the White House has no comment on the matter.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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