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Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

People

August 23, 2004

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'Exorcist' horns in with $18.2M

Los Angeles -- God vs. Satan cast out space creatures at the box office.

Demon thriller "Exorcist: The Beginning" debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $18.2 million, displacing "Alien vs. Predator," which tumbled to No. 4 with $12.5 million, studio estimates showed Sunday.

"Without a Paddle," a slapstick comedy about three pals on a canoe trip in search of treasure, opened in second place with $13.7 million.

The rest of the top five estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

3. "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement," $13.2 million.

5. "Open Water," $11.75 million.

Piscopo for governor

Trenton, N.J.-- Comedian and New Jersey native Joe Piscopo says he's being urged to make a run for the Statehouse in the wake of Gov. James McGreevey's resignation and acknowledgment of a sex scandal.

The actor and one-time "Saturday Night Live" star, who describes himself as a lifelong Democrat, told CNN that "young, very concerned New Jersey citizens" suggested the idea to him.

Piscopo, 53, declined to identify those who approached him, saying Friday that they wished to remain "in the background." He made no reference to whether he would run in a gubernatorial race.

Pretty baby for 'Wonderful Town'

New York -- Brooke Shields will soon be joining the cast of the Broadway revival of "Wonderful Town."

Shields will replace Donna Murphy on Sept. 28 as writer Ruth Sherwood, a young woman from Ohio determined to make it big in New York in the 1930s.

The musical, which has a score by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was first done in 1953 on Broadway with Rosalind Russell in the leading role. The revival opened last November and won a 2004 Tony Award for best choreography for its director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall.

Voting jam

St. Louis -- It had all the hallmarks of a concert -- screaming fans, an emcee warming up the crowd, a DJ breaking beats.

But the head of the organization holding Friday's Hip-Hop Summit, mogul Russell Simmons, wasn't there to play around. "This is serious business," Simmons said. "These people sit here for three hours and learn."

More than 5,000 people came to the city's convention center to hear a panel of hip-hop stars -- including rappers Nelly and Jadakiss -- discuss why registering to vote has an impact on their communities. The event was organized by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, led by Simmons and former NAACP president Ben Chavis.

"Honestly, what hip hop is about is poor people," Simmons said. "It's inspiring all different kinds of poor people -- black, white. ... They can be part of a voting bloc that is more compassionate."

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