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'Kong' Opens Shy of Blockbuster Standards (AP)
An undated publicity photograph shows actress Naomi Watts, who portrays Ann Darrow being held in the grip of movie monster King Kong atop the Empire State Building, in a scene from the new film 'King Kong' directed by triple Academy Award winner Peter Jackson. (Weta Digital Ltd./Universal Studios/Handout/Reuters)AP - "King Kong" was less of a box-office brute than Hollywood expected, taking in $50.15 million in its first weekend, a sturdy start but unremarkable by Hollywood blockbuster standards.


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Time Honors Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono (AP)
In this handout photo provided by TIME Magazine, the annual Persons of the Year Issue featuring Bill Gates, left, U2 rocker Bono, and Melinda Gates, right, is shown. The Dec. 26, 2005 issue, which goes on sale, Monday, Dec. 19, honors the trio for their outstanding humanitarian efforts.  (AP Photo/Courtesy of TIME Magazine)AP - Time magazine has named Bill and Melinda Gates and rock star Bono its "Persons of the Year," citing their charitable work and activism aimed at reducing global poverty and improving world health.


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Nielsen to Start Using DVRs in Ratings (AP)
AP - Starting next week, the company that measures what people watch on television will also follow what they record on DVRs to watch later.

Truck and Crane Used in Moore Theft Found (AP)
This is a CCTV image released by the Henry Moore Foundation, Saturday Dec.17 2005, which shows a lorry arriving at the foundation at Perry Green,  30 miles (50 kms) north of London, Thursday, Dec. 15 2005.  Thieves with a flatbed truck and a crane snatched Thursday a two-ton Henry Moore bronze of a reclining figure from the grounds of the late sculptor's foundation.  The sculpture was valued at more than 3 million pounds (euro4.4 million; US$5.2 million). (AP Photo / Henry Moore Foundation, ho via pa)AP - British police said Sunday they found a flatbed truck and crane that were apparently used in the theft of a $5.2 million Henry Moore sculpture from the artist's estate north of London.


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Scribes face challenge in 'West Wing' star's death (Reuters)
Actor John Spencer, who plays the role of Leo McGarry, is shown in a scene from the NBC drama television series 'The West Wing' in this 2001 publicity photograph. Spencer, 58, died on December 16, 2005 at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a heart attack, his spokesman Ron Hofmann said. (David Rose/NBC/Handout/Reuters)Reuters - The death on Friday of actor John Spencer, a cornerstone of the ensemble on "The West Wing" since its 1999 debut, is sure to send the show's writing team back to the drawing board for the second half of what could be the show's final season.


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'Rumor Has It...' Reiner's latest is a wreck (Reuters)
Cast of the comedy 'Rumor has it...' (L-R) Mena Suvari, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Aniston and director Rob Reiner pose at the film's premiere in Hollywood, December 15, 2005. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)Reuters - One of the better gags in Robert Altman's "The Player" has Buck Henry, co-writer of "The Graduate," pitching a sequel to that classic comedy.


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Concord Music buys classic Telarc (Reuters)
Reuters - Concord Music Group, whose diverse roster includes Ray Charles, Sergio Mendes, John Fogerty and funk group Ozomatli, has acquired jazz, blues and classical label Telarc International.

Winter Olympics ads sets record for NBC (Reuters)
Reuters - NBC Universal has sold nearly 90% of the ad inventory for the 2006 Winter Olympics, less than two months before the torch is lit on February 10 in Torino, Italy.

'Kong' Opens Shy of Blockbuster Standards (AP)
An undated publicity photograph shows actress Naomi Watts, who portrays Ann Darrow being held in the grip of movie monster King Kong atop the Empire State Building, in a scene from the new film 'King Kong' directed by triple Academy Award winner Peter Jackson. (Weta Digital Ltd./Universal Studios/Handout/Reuters)AP - "King Kong" was less of a box-office brute than Hollywood expected, taking in $50.15 million in its first weekend, a sturdy start but unremarkable by Hollywood blockbuster standards.


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Songwriter Charles Bloom Will Blossom in New Revue 'Beyond the Music' (Playbill)
Playbill - The work of composer-lyricist Charles Bloom, who penned the musicals Insomnia and Heaven Knows, will be presented in a new revue, Beyond the Music: The Songs of Charles Bloom at Don't Tell Mama Dec. 18-19.

'Rumor Has It...' Reiner's latest is a wreck (Reuters)
Cast of the comedy 'Rumor has it...' (L-R) Mena Suvari, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Aniston and director Rob Reiner pose at the film's premiere in Hollywood, December 15, 2005. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)Reuters - One of the better gags in Robert Altman's "The Player" has Buck Henry, co-writer of "The Graduate," pitching a sequel to that classic comedy.


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'Kong' Opens Shy of Blockbuster Standards (AP)
An undated publicity photograph shows actress Naomi Watts, who portrays Ann Darrow being held in the grip of movie monster King Kong atop the Empire State Building, in a scene from the new film 'King Kong' directed by triple Academy Award winner Peter Jackson. (Weta Digital Ltd./Universal Studios/Handout/Reuters)AP - "King Kong" was less of a box-office brute than Hollywood expected, taking in $50.15 million in its first weekend, a sturdy start but unremarkable by Hollywood blockbuster standards.


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Buscemi, Shalhoub set for Van Gogh remakes (Reuters)
The body of controversial filmmaker and newspaper columnist Theo van Gogh lies under a white sheet in Amsterdam, November 2, 2004. Sienna Miller, Steve Buscemi, Tony Shalhoub and Patricia Clarkson will star in U.S. remakes of two films by the slain Dutch director. (Maartje Blijdenstein/Reuters)Reuters - Sienna Miller, Steve Buscemi, Tony Shalhoub and Patricia Clarkson will star in U.S. remakes of two films by slain Dutch director Theo van Gogh, their producers said Thursday.


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'Kong' topples foreign competition (Reuters)
Reuters - "King Kong" tallied a sound $80.1 million from 55 territories, but the three-hour running time appears to have tempered the zealous box office expectations for the five-day international opening.

'Brokeback Mountain' tops Satellite Awards (Reuters)
Reuters - Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," the belle of the ball so far this awards season, took home four honors at the 10th annual Satellite Awards, an event organized by critics formerly affiliated with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

Monkey Business for "King Kong" (E! Online)
But his power atop the 
 nation's box-office was weaker than expected.E! Online - But his power atop the nation's box-office was weaker than expected.


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Fox Searchlight on 'Fast Food' binge (Reuters)
Reuters - Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired North American distribution rights to "Fast Food Nation."

'Watchmen' on duty at Warner Bros (Reuters)
Reuters - "The Watchmen," the seminal DC Comics limited series credited with redefining the superhero genre , has found a home at Warner Bros. Pictures.

India's Top Movie Star Leaves Hospital (AP)
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, center, waves to his fans and media outside Lilavati hospital, where he was admitted with acute abdominal pain, in Bombay, India, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005. Bachchan, India's top movie star left the hospital nearly three weeks after having surgery for an intestinal ailment. Bachchan, 63, is highly popular in South Asia and across the world where Bollywood films are watched. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)AP - India's top movie star has left a hospital, nearly three weeks after having surgery for an intestinal ailment, a hospital spokesman said.


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'King Kong' off to a slow start at box office (Reuters)
Actress Naomi Watts smiles as she poses for photographers during a news conference for the film 'King Kong' in Tokyo December 13, 2005. The film sold a relatively modest $66.2 million worth of tickets in its first five days of release across North America, according to estimates issued on Sunday by its distributor Universal Pictures. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)Reuters - Director Peter Jackson's costly remake of "King Kong," one of the most hyped movies of the year, started off with more of a whimper than a roar at the North American box office, according to sales data issued on Sunday by its distributor Universal Pictures.


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Concord Music buys classic Telarc (Reuters)
Reuters - Concord Music Group, whose diverse roster includes Ray Charles, Sergio Mendes, John Fogerty and funk group Ozomatli, has acquired jazz, blues and classical label Telarc International.

Big-ticket treks bailed out ailing tour business (Reuters)
Reuters - Last year's concert industry slump left many in the business wondering if the stall could be expected for the foreseeable future.

Ailing Ashlee Hospitalized (E! Online)
Ashlee Simpson's big comeback tour has been temporarily 
 derailed in Tokyo, after she collapsed and was hospitalized following a 
 performance on MTV Japan Thursday.E! Online - Ashlee Simpson's big comeback tour has been temporarily derailed in Tokyo, after she collapsed and was hospitalized following a performance on MTV Japan Thursday.


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U.K. music biz holds steady in 2005 (Reuters)
Reuters - Already holding strong in 2004 amid declining sales in most European countries, the British music market experienced another reasonably healthy year in 2005.

Mariah leads on year-end charts (Reuters)
File photo shows singer Mariah Carey posing during the 2005 Recording Academy Honors at Gotham Hall in New York City December 7, 2005. (Peter Foley/Reuters)Reuters - You do not need to read an analysis of the 2005 charts to know that Mariah Carey made an impressive comeback, but a closer look at Billboard's year-end surveys suggests this may be her most successful year to date.


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Elton John: Gays Need Global Equal Rights (AP)
Singer Elton John, left, arrives for the Golden Globe Awards with David Furnish in this Jan. 25, 2004 file photo, in Beverly Hills, Calif. John said forming a civil partnership with his longtime lover David Furnish in England this week will be 'the happiest day of my life.' But, the pop star added, he will feel sorry for the many gay couples who live in countries that prohibit such unions. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)AP - Elton John said forming a civil partnership with his longtime lover David Furnish in England this week will be "the happiest day of my life."


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Willie Strums on Guthrie's Katrina Tour (AP)
Wille Nelson, left, and Arlo Guthrie perform during the final leg of the Arlo Guthrie  & Friends 'City of New Orleans' tour in New Orleans to raise money to buy instruments and musical gear for New Orleans musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005.  (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)AP - Folk singer Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson gave a sold-out crowd something they've needed since Hurricane Katrina — good music, a good time and a reminder of what they love most about this city.


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Concert brings music back to New Orleans (Reuters)
File photo shows Willie Nelson arriving for premiere of 'The Dukes of Hazzard' in Hollywood July 28, 2005. Singers Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson staged a musical homecoming for hurricane-wrecked New Orleans on Saturday night, bringing back a taste of the songs for which the city is famed. In a concert dedicated to assisting musicians who lost their homes, instruments and livelihoods when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city on August 29, the two pledged to help its songmakers find their voices again. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)Reuters - Singers Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson staged a musical homecoming for hurricane-wrecked New Orleans on Saturday night, bringing back a taste of the songs for which the city is famed.


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Bono Raises Awareness of African Crises (AP)
The richest man in the world, Bill Gates (L), and his wife Melinda (R) were named Time magazine's 'Persons of the Year,' along with Irish rock group U2's lead singer Bono, for being 'Good Samaritans' who made a difference in different ways in this handout photo taken in Omaha, Nebraska December 16, 2005. 'For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year,' the magazine said in its December 19 issue, made public on Sunday. Managing Editor James Kelly said the three had been chosen as the people most effective at finding ways to eradicate such calamities as malaria. (Gregory Heisler for Time/Handout/Reuters)AP - Bono isn't the kind of celebrity who packs up and leaves town as soon as the concert is over. The U2 lead singer spent an extra day in Omaha after his band's sold-out concert on Thursday to continue his campaign to raise awareness of the crises in Africa.


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Winter Observes Solstice in NYC Cathedral (AP)
Jazz musician Paul Winter performs with the entire Paul Winter Consort at the first-annual Berkshire Jazz Festival on in a  Sunday, Aug. 26, 2001 photo, in Great Barrington, Mass. When Grammy-winning new age artist Paul Winter started his winter solstice celebration more than two decades ago, he was looking for something that all faiths could take part in during the holiday season. (AP Photo/Nancy Palmieri, file)AP - When Grammy-winning new age artist Paul Winter started his winter solstice celebration more than two decades ago, he was looking for something that all faiths could take part in during the holiday season.


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