Black at head of box office

Los Angeles -- "The School of Rock," with Jack Black playing a rocker posing as a substitute teacher to coach fifth-graders for a battle-of-the-bands contest, earned top grades from audiences with a $20.2 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Out of Time," starring Denzel Washington as a police chief scrambling to prove his innocence in a double murder, opened in second place with $17 million.

The overall box office declined, with the top 12 movies grossing $82.2 million, down 19 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Red Dragon" had a $36.5 million debut.

Other estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.:

3. "The Rundown," $9.8 million.

4. "Under the Tuscan Sun," $7.9 million.

5. "Secondhand Lions," $5.4 million.

6. "Underworld," $4.8 million.

7. "Lost in Translation," $4.3 million.

8. "The Fighting Temptations," $3.3 million.

9. "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," $2.55 million.

10. "Cold Creek Manor," $2.5 million.

Bono finds new outlet

New York City -- Bono: Master musician, international diplomat -- and now, painter.

The politically active U2 frontman has created 16 paintings for a book that will accompany a new recording of Sergei Prokofiev's iconic orchestral piece "Peter and the Wolf," reports the New York Daily News.

Bono said art was therapeutic to him while his father was dying.

"I did it for myself," he says. "It kept me thinking about the man who gave me my voice -- he was a beautiful tenor."

The paintings will be auctioned by Christie's Nov. 21 to benefit the Irish Hospice Foundation, which includes the Dublin facility that cared for Bono's father. The rocker said he received help on the paintings from his two eldest children, Jordan, 14, and Eve, 12.

Lawmaker takes offense to Kilmer's gun comments

Pecos, N.M.-- Actor Val Kilmer has been talking about New Mexico, and one state lawmaker didn't like what he heard.

Kilmer, who has a ranch in the mountains south of Pecos, was asked about living in rural New Mexico in an interview published in a recent edition of Rolling Stone.

Kilmer told the magazine he carries a gun in his car.

"I live in the homicide capital of the Southwest," Kilmer said. "Eighty percent of the people in my county are drunk. So driving home on the highway, especially with kids, it's (carrying a gun) just a precaution."

State Sen. Phil Griego, whose district includes Kilmer's ranch and who lives nearby, said Friday that if the actor didn't like San Miguel County, he was welcome to leave.

"He's shooting from the hip, and he's espousing stuff he really doesn't know anything about," Griego said.

The lawmaker said the actor lived behind a gate and didn't know his community.


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