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Archive for Monday, July 2, 2007

People in the news

July 2, 2007

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Barbra Streisand plays first concert in Germany

Berlin - Barbra Streisand has played her first concert in Germany, winning an enthusiastic welcome from some 18,000 fans in Berlin and praising the capital's "beauty - and desserts."

Saturday night's appearance at Berlin's open-air Waldbuehne was part of a European tour that also has taken her to Zurich, Switzerland, and to France for the first time.

"I can't believe it took me so long to come here," she told the audience.

"I definitely got a taste of Berlin," she said. "This city is filled with culture, beauty - and desserts."

Streisand's German concert attracted local luminaries including Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and Guido Westerwelle, the leader of Germany's biggest opposition party, who said the singer's presence was a "giant compliment for Berlin."

James Earl Jones to read Declaration of Independence

Philadelphia - The voice of Darth Vader will be the voice of the Declaration of Independence.

James Earl Jones, whose rich baritone gave life to the sinister villain of the "Star Wars" movies, will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday to help open an exhibit featuring the Magna Carta at the National Constitution Center.

The Broadway and movie actor who also was behind King Mufasa in "The Lion King" - as well as countless Verizon commercials - will recite the Declaration of Independence at the "Magna Carta: Foundation of Freedom" exhibit one day before the Fourth of July.

"Here's an opportunity to focus on the declaration itself - besides the holiday, besides the great explosions and bombs bursting in air," Jones said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

The exhibit, presented by the National Education Association and sponsored by Verizon Communications, will run from July 4 to July 25. The Magna Carta is on loan from Great Britain's Lincoln Cathedral.

In addition to the Magna Carta, the 1215 document that helped inspire the Declaration of Independence, the center also features a signed Emancipation Proclamation and a printing of the U.S. Constitution.

'Ratatouille' rules box office with $47.2 million debut

Los Angeles - Disney has put a rodent on top of the box office, though not the studio's venerable mascot, Mickey Mouse.

"Ratatouille," an animated comedy about a gourmet rat that gets a chance to cook in a French restaurant, debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $47.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

20th Century Fox's action thriller "Live Free or Die Hard," Bruce Willis' return as unstoppable cop John McClane, opened in second-place with $33.15 million. Since opening Wednesday, the movie has grossed $48.2 million.

In narrower release, Michael Moore's health care documentary "Sicko," released by the Weinstein Co. and Lionsgate, took in $4.5 million in its nationwide debut to finish at No. 9.

While "Ratatouille" easily dominated the weekend, it had the smallest debut among releases by Disney's Pixar Animation unit since 1998's "A Bug's Life," which opened with $33.3 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Ratatouille," $47.2 million.

2. "Live Free or Die Hard," $33.15 million.

3. "Evan Almighty," $15.1 million.

4. "1408," $10.6 million.

5. "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," $9 million.

6. "Knocked Up," $7.4 million.

7. "Ocean's Thirteen," $6.05 million.

8. "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," $5 million.

9. "Sicko," $4.5 million.

10. "Evening," $3.5 million.

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