'Passion' No. 1 at box office again

Los Angeles -- Many Christians made "The Passion of the Christ" a part of their Easter weekend, lifting the crucifixion saga back to the top box-office spot with $17.1 million.

Mel Gibson's bloody retelling of Christ's final hours raised its domestic total since opening on Ash Wednesday to $354.8 million, passing "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" for the No. 8 spot on the all-time domestic charts.

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

2. "Hellboy," $11.1 million.

3 (tie). "The Alamo," $9.2 million.

3 (tie). "Johnson Family Vacation," $9.2 million.

5. "Walking Tall," $8.3 million.

6. "Home on the Range," $8.2 million.

7. "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," $8 million.

8. "The Whole Ten Yards," $6.7 million.

9. "Ella Enchanted," $6.1 million.

10. "The Girl Next Door," $6 million.

'Weird Al's' parents found dead

Fallbrook, Calif. -- The elderly parents of Grammy-winning recording artist "Weird Al" Yankovic were found dead in their home, apparently victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

Nick and Mary Yankovic were found dead Friday in their suburban San Diego home by relatives who were worried because they had not seen the couple in a while, said sheriff's Sgt. Conrad Grayson.

A wood fire had been set recently in the fireplace, Grayson said.

"The house was full of smoke when they opened the door," Grayson said, adding that the family members found the flue closed.

"Weird Al" Yankovic, 44, had no comment during a performance in Mankato, Minn., on Saturday night.

"Weird Al" Yankovic is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Topeka Performing Arts Center in Topeka.

Twist on

Myrtle Beach, S.C.-- Singer Chubby Checker wants a new record -- a Guinness world record.

Checker, who now goes by "Chubby C" to reflect his reinvention as a rap artist, vied for the distinction in a dance event Saturday sponsored by Myrtle Beach radio station WWXM FM. Nearly 190 people took part as Checker played his 1960 hit "The Twist."

As part of the event, at least 114 people did the electric slide and then 151 did the cha-cha. The crowd grew to 188 as dancers did The Twist while Checker sang his famous song.

Kudos for Bill Cosby

Boston -- Bill Cosby will receive an honorary doctor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music for his contribution to the world of music.

Cosby is a jazz enthusiast and has composed scores for several of his television programs, including "The Cosby Show," "A Different World" and "Little Bill."

The honor will be bestowed during the school's commencement ceremony on May 8, the college announced this past week. Cosby will be the keynote speaker.


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