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Published: Mon, February 18, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

newsmakers

New ‘Die Hard’ scores with $25M debut

LOS ANGELES

Bruce Willis remains a die-hard at the box office.

Willis’ action sequel “A Good Day to Die Hard” debuted as the weekend’s top draw with a $25 million debut from Friday to Sunday. The 20th Century Fox release raised its domestic total to $33.2 million since opening Thursday for Valentine’s Day to get a jump on the long President’s Day weekend.

The movie comes 25 years after the original “Die Hard” and six years after “Live Free or Die Hard,” the hit that resurrected the franchise centered on Willis’ relentless New York City cop John McClane.

The previous weekend’s No. 1 movie, Universal’s comedy “Identity Thief” starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, was a close second with $23.4 million to lift its haul to $70.7 million.

Debuting at No. 3 with $21.4 million was Relativity Media’s romance “Safe Haven,” starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel about a woman who flees her abusive husband and takes up with a sensitive widower. Since opening on Valentine’s Day, “Safe Haven” has taken in $30.3 million.

The Weinstein Co. animated tale “Escape from Planet Earth” opened at No. 4 with $16.1 million. With a voice cast that includes Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker and Rob Corddry, the movie follows the adventures of aliens captured by the U.S. military.

Overall Hollywood business remained slow, with revenues off for the fourth-straight weekend compared with the same period last year. Domestic business from Friday to Sunday totaled $141 million, down 9.4 percent from the same weekend a year ago.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are included. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday:

1. “A Good Day to Die Hard,” $25 million.

2. “Identity Thief,” $23.4 million.

3. “Safe Haven,” $21.4 million.

4. “Escape from Planet Earth,” $16.1 million.

5. “Warm Bodies,” $9 million.

Sheriff’s office says McCready apparently committed suicide,

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark.

Arkansas authorities say that country singer Mindy McCready was found dead with an apparent self- inflicted gunshot wound.

A news release from the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office says that McCready, 37, was found dead Sunday afternoon with what appears to be a single, self-inflicted wound. She was found on the front porch of a home.

McCready hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career.

In 1996, her “Guys Do It All the Time” hit No. 1, and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females.

She arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records.

However, personal problems plagued her beginning in 2004.

SD museum with rare instruments seeks $15M revamp

VERMILLION, S.D.

A South Dakota college town of about 10,000 is an unlikely place for a wide-ranging collection of musical instruments that includes saxophones built by inventor Adolphe Sax, a Stradivarius violin with its original neck and a Spanish guitar on which Bob Dylan composed some of his earliest songs.

Grammy-winning fingerpicking guitarist Pat Donohue thinks that’s part of the charm.

The National Music Museum has boasted a world-class collection since it was established 40 years ago. Officials now want to build a facility to match.

The museum is looking to raise $15 million over the next few years to triple its gallery space, build a proper lobby and visitor reception area and revamp the vast archives.

The plans recently earned a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Associated Press


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