'50 First Dates' tops box office for Valentine's Day weekend

Los Angeles -- Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's romance "50 First Dates" proved an irresistible draw for the Valentine's weekend date crowd, taking in $41 million to debut as the top movie, according to studio estimates Sunday.

With many people off work for Presidents Day, "50 First Dates" should come out of the long weekend about halfway to the $100 million level.

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

2. "Barbershop 2: Back in Business," $15.6 million.

3. "Miracle," $14 million.

4. "The Butterfly Effect," $5.7 million.

5. "You Got Served," $5.1 million.

6. "Along Came Polly," $5.08 million.

7. "Catch That Kid," $4.35 million.

8. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," $4.15 million.

9. "Cold Mountain," $3.7 million.

10. "Mystic River," $3.55 million.

Trashy clothes not Orrico's style

Singapore -- Christian singer Stacie Orrico says revealing clothing like that worn by Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera is "degrading" and makes them poor role models for girls.

"The reason that I don't dress trashy is that I'm trying to set an example for little girls," Orrico told reporters Saturday in Singapore while preparing for the MTV Asia Awards. "From the time they're seven or eight years old, (girls) are being taught that the only thing that makes them special and beautiful is their sexuality, and I think that's wrong."

Orrico's self-titled album rose to No. 5 on Billboard's Top Contemporary Christian Albums list this month.

Ready for Mars

Santa Barbara, Calif.-- Ray Bradbury, author of the science-fiction classic "The Martian Chronicles," says President Bush's proposal to put humans on Mars could open new worlds in much the same way European explorers discovered America.

"We have to imagine what they couldn't imagine. Because of their exploration they created us -- the greatest country in the history of the world," Bradbury said Saturday after a book-signing.

"We're going to go with real people and land on Mars in the next 20 years, and I'm going to be buried in a tomato soup can on Mars," joked Bradbury, who is 83. "I'll be the first one up there."

Royal valentine for needy

Sand Springs, Okla. -- Darren McGrady, who served as personal chef to Princess Diana, spent Valentine's Day cooking for a group of homeless and abused women.

McGrady prepared a lavish, three-course meal for 70 women and children living at a homeless shelter in Sand Springs.

McGrady's menu included smoked mozzarella, asparagus and Parma ham on spring salad leaves with a lemon and thyme dressing; poached Atlantic salmon in mushroom sauce with spinach roulade and rosemary potatoes.

McGrady, who worked as one of 20 chefs at Buckingham Palace, became the princess's personal chef shortly after she and Prince Charles separated.


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