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

newsmakers

‘Oz’ again tops box office with $42.2M

NEW YORK

“Oz the Great and Powerful” is living up to its name at the box office.

Walt Disney’s 3-D blockbuster led all films for the second week in a row, taking in $42.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Sam Raimi’s prequel to the L. Frank Baum classic “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” also took in $46.6 million overseas, leading to a two-week worldwide total of $281.8 million.

In a winter of underperforming releases, that makes “Oz” easily the biggest hit of 2013 so far.

Among the weekend’s debuts, the Halle Berry thriller “The Call” far exceeded expectations with a $17.1 million opening for Sony and TriStar Pictures. The Steve Carell magician comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” fared worse, opening with a disappointing $10.3 million for Warner Bros.

Madonna to Scouts: Lift ban on gays

NEW YORK

Wearing a replica of one of the organization’s uniforms, Madonna called on the Boy Scouts to lift its ban on gays while also calling for a “revolution” to prevent discrimination and abuse of the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community.

Speaking Saturday night at the GLAAD Media Awards, Madonna started off in a mischievous mood. She joked that she wanted to become a part of the Boy Scouts herself, but was turned down, even though she had the qualifications.

The Boy Scouts of America does not permit openly gay people to serve in the organization — a decision that has come under increasing fire over the years.

Later, she talked about the conflicts in the world and of the bullying of young gay, lesbian and transgender people.

The Hoff takes up Berlin Wall campaign

BERLIN

David Hasselhoff put his name behind a campaign to preserve one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, calling it a “sacred” monument to cheers Sunday from Germans who fondly remember his schmaltzy hit “Looking for Freedom” as one of the soundtracks to their peaceful 1989 revolution.

The actor, best known for starring in “Knight Rider” and “Baywatch,” joined ordinary Berliners in protesting a real-estate developer’s plans to move part of the wall to make way for an access path for a luxury housing development.

“It’s like tearing down an Indian burial ground. It’s a no-brainer,” said Hasselhoff, before recounting his own memories of visiting East Germany — grim cities, grim food — shortly before unification.

Associated Press


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