Mutants rule box office with 'X2'

Los Angeles -- The mutants of "X-Men" are stronger than ever, showing even more box office power than in their first outing.

The superhero sequel "X2: X-Men United," starring Hugh Jackman, debuted with $85.85 million domestically, the fourth-best opening-weekend gross ever and a 58 percent increase over the $54.5 million first weekend of the original "X-Men" three years ago.

Opening in second place was "The Lizzie McGuire Movie," starring Hilary Duff in a big-screen adaptation of her Disney Channel TV series about a young teen coping with adolescence. The movie took in $17 million, according to studio estimates.

Other top-10 films through Sunday, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

3. "Identity," $9.5 million.

4. "Anger Management," $8.5 million.

5. "Holes," $6.5 million.

6. "Malibu's Most Wanted," $4 million.

7. "Confidence," $2.5 million.

8. "It Runs in the Family," $1.55 million.

9. "Bend it Like Beckham," $1.455 million.

10. "Bulletproof Monk," $1.45 million.

Prince in New York state of mind

London -- Prince William wants to spend a few years in New York after finishing his university degree, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

William, 20, wants to pursue a postgraduate degree at an American college or a job with a U.S. art auction house or gallery, The Sunday Mirror said.

"William is determined to maintain a degree of anonymity and feels America offers him the best chance of that," a courtier at Buckingham Palace told the newspaper.

A spokesman for St. James' Palace did not deny the report but said no decisions about William's future had been made.

King's ransom for his writings

Lisbon Falls, Maine -- Copies of the Lisbon High School student newspaper from the mid-1960s have become collectors items.

That's because they contain two original stories by an author listed as "Steve King."

The stories, "The 43rd Dream" and "Code Name: Mousetrap," are believed to be among the earliest published works of best seller Stephen King, who grew up in Durham and attended Lisbon High then.

The old newspaper copies were discovered last year when retired English teacher Prudence Grant cleaned out her file cabinet. Verification from King about the stories' authenticity is under way. He has been out of town, a spokesman said.

Hunter Thompson weds

Aspen, Colo. -- Journalist Hunter Thompson, who often portrays himself as hard-drinking and unpredictable, was on his best behavior as he married his longtime assistant in a ceremony in Aspen, Colo.

"He had a nice suit jacket and slacks on. He brought her flowers," Pitkin County Deputy Clerk Sherry McIntire said Friday.

The 66-year-old Thompson, best-known as the author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," married Anita Beymuk, 30, in the clerk's office April 24.

The couple live in Woody Creek, near Aspen.


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