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Since 1st March, 1999
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House rules

Silicon Valley, March 10 (PTI): Bringing Down the House, produced by Ashok Amritraj and starring Oscar nominee Queen Latifah and Steve Martin, has topped the North American box office in its debut weekend.

The film, Walt Disney Co’s lively comedy lampooning racism, grossed $31.7 million from Friday-to-Sunday ticket sales, according to industry box office service exhibitor relations, reported Variety magazine.

It was way ahead of rival Tears of the Sun, an action war film starring Bruce Willis which came in at number two in its debut weekend with gross ticket sales of $17.2 million.

Bringing Down the House seemed to benefit from all the Oscar buzz for best supporting actress nominee Queen Latifah in Chicago.

At the time of casting, Latifah “was not as hot as she is today,” Amritraj told India West paper earlier.

“She has suddenly become sizzling hot between her nomination for Chicago, and being a presenter at the Grammys. The fact she has peaked at such a crucial time is, to us, wonderful for the movie.”


Madrid (Reuters): Can't Buy Me Love, sang the Beatles, but 1,400 euros ($1,550) was enough to land a Barcelona hairdresser a lock of hair snipped from George Harrison in 1964. “It went to a hairdresser from Barcelona called Rafael Pages, who also has a hairdressing museum,” said Jordi Tarda, an organiser of Sunday’s auction of pop memorabilia at an annual record fair in the north-eastern Spanish town of Girona. Tarda said photos capturing the moment the hair was lopped from Harrison in Liverpool and an accompanying note signed by the Beatle —who died in 2001 — verifying it was his own, meant there were no doubts about its roots. Harrison’s hair raised the highest price at the auction which also included a pair of limited edition Michael Jackson shoes and a ticket for the premiere of the musical Tommy.

Firm arms

Wellington (Reuters): A $112,000 dispute between two New Zealand companies has been resolved in an unusual out-of-court settlement — a best-of-three arm-wrestling match. The chief executives of the small telecommunications companies — Teamtalk Ltd and MCS Digital Ltd — squared off after their firms were unable to reach an agreement on access to a mobile radio network. The dispute had already been the subject of a complaint with competition regulators and was heading for the courts. “Sure, losing hurts but not nearly as much as paying lawyers bills,” defeated TeamTalk chief executive David Ware said.

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