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Rare box-office duel

August 1, 2011

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Little blue Smurfs and not-so-little green men from space are in a photo finish for the top spot at the weekend box office. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s sci-fi western, “Cowboys & Aliens’’ and the family adventure “The Smurfs’’ both opened with $36.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. Deciding number one will have to wait until final numbers are counted today. “In all my years, I’ve never really seen a race this close,’’ said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker “Generally, in the world of movie box office, $1 million is a close call, so to have two films in a dollar-to-dollar tie is somewhat unprecedented.’’ The previous weekend’s top movie, “Captain America: The First Avenger,’’ slipped to third with $24.9 million and raised its domestic total to $116.8 million. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’’ pulled in $21.9 million to become the franchise’s top-grossing chapter at $318.5 million domestically. (AP)

Kings of Leon cancel

The Kings of Leon are promising to make it up to their Dallas fans after canceling a show because their lead singer complained it was too hot to perform. In a statement, the band announced plans to return to Dallas on Sept. 21. This follows Friday’s mid-show cancellation, which Nathan Followill called a “fiasco’’ on Twitter. Brother Caleb Followill told the audience it was too hot to sing and that he was going backstage to get a beer and would return. He never did. His departure was blamed on heat exhaustion and dehydration, although his bandmate and brother Jared Followill tweeted to fans, “I love our fans so much. I know you guys aren’t stupid. I can’t lie. There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade.’’ The band also canceled Saturday’s show in Houston (rescheduled for Sept. 22). The Nashville-based rock band is known for hits including the Grammy-winning anthem “Use Somebody.’’ (AP)

Hepburn home is up for sale Katharine Hepburn’s former Connecticut home on Long Island Sound is up for sale. Owners have updated the house by reducing its 21 rooms and nine bathrooms to a larger 15 rooms and 7 bathrooms. The estate is on the market for $28 million; the house can be purchased separately for $18 million. Seven years ago, the property sold for $6 million. The Academy Award-winning actress lived there until her death in 2003 at 96. (AP)

Snoop Dogg’s league

Rapper Snoop Dogg launched a Chicago version of his popular youth football league Saturday, saying he hoped the program will give children in high-crime neighborhoods a positive release for their energy. Dancing and high-fiving his way through a large crowd at the Chicago Indoor Sports Facility, the playful entertainer seemed intent on meeting all the participants involved in the inaugural season of the city’s Snoop Youth Football League. Chicago’s is a division of the league he established in Los Angeles in 2004. Snoop Dogg spent most of his time interacting with the more than 100 kids and fans, many of whom waited several hours for his arrival. “When I walked into the building, I felt the spirit,’’ the rapper said of the loud welcome. He credited football, a sport he played growing up, with giving many kids in his California league the incentive to focus on their education and other aspects of their lives. “At the end of the day, they’re our future.’’ The league in California has eight chapters with more than 3,000 participants. Chicago’s league will have six chapters with more than 1,500 participants. (AP)

Julie Pacino arrested

The daughter of actor Al Pacino has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in New York. Police say Julie Pacino, 21, daughter of acting coach Jan Tarrant, was stopped at a traffic checkpoint on West Houston Street in Manhattan at 1:05 a.m. Saturday. Her exact blood-alcohol level was not immediately available. She was being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex pending arraignment. (AP)

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