'Thief' back in top spot with $14 million
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- "Identity Thief" bounced back to the No. 1 box office spot on Oscar weekend with $14.064 million after dropping to No. 2 last weekend.
"Thief" stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.
"Snitch" was No. 2 with $13 million.
All studio estimates of gross North American receipts are via Box Office Mojo.
"Escape From Planet Earth" was third with $11.013 million; "Safe Haven" fourth with $10.6 million; "A Good Day to Die Hard" fifth with $10 million; "Dark Skies" sixth with $8.85 million.
"Silver Linings Playbook" seventh with $6.051 million; "Warm Bodies" eighth with $4.75 million; "Side Effects (2013)" ninth with $3.511 million.
"Beautiful Creatures (2013)" was 10th with $3.41 million.
'Doctor Who' Daleks designer dies
LONDON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Ray Cusick, the designer of the Daleks on the BBC's "Doctor Who," passed away at the age of 84 after a short struggle with an illness, his daughter said.
Cusick died of heart failure in his sleep on Thursday, the BBC reported.
The Daleks are the villains on the cult science fiction series "Doctor Who," which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a number of events.
The official Doctor Who Magazine tweeted: "It's with great sadness that we report the death of Ray Cusick - the designer of the Daleks. Half a century on, his iconic design lives on."
Doctor Who actor and writer Mark Gatiss tweeted: "Farewell to the great Ray Cusick. His passing is especially sad in this anniversary year but his creation remains immortal. Daleks forever!"
TV writer Martha Atwater killed in NYC
NEW YORK, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Emmy-award winning TV writer Martha Atwater was killed in New York City when an out of control vehicle hit her and pinned her against a building, police said.
The incident happened outside of a Brooklyn cafe Friday evening, the New York Post reported.
As Atwater, 48, exited the cafe, a black Honda Ridgeline sports utility vehicle mounted the curb and pinned her against the building.
"She just came in to buy cookies. She looked happy, she was smiling," said the cafe manager, Alauddin Shipun. "She walked out. I heard a big bang and she was gone. Someone was trying to lift her head up and asking her, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?'"
Atwater was pronounced dead at Long Island College Hospital.
The 53-year-old driver of the vehicle may have lost consciousness because of diabetes, police said. He stayed at the scene and has not been charged.
Atwater, a Princeton University graduate, won an Emmy in 2009 for her writing on "WordWorld," a PBS kid's show. She was also nominated for an Emmy three years in a row for her work as a producer on "Clifford the Big Red Dog."
Depardieu announces restaurant plans
SARANSK, Russia, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- French actor Gerard Depardieu has announced plans to open a restaurant in central Russia where he has recently been granted residency, officials said.
On Sunday, Depardieu, 64, toured a cheese factory where he selected cheese that will be used in his restaurant, RIA Novosti reported.
"This will be special cheese. Depardieu has requirements for the design and packing," Valery Maresyev, the press and information minister of Russia's Mordovia republic, told reporters.
Depardieu also toured a local poultry farm and an agricultural complex on Sunday and "was pleased" with the quality of the products, which he compared to the European ones, Maresyev said.
The French actor, who moved to Saransk, the capital of Mordovia to evade high taxes in France, said that he plans to open an inexpensive restaurant where "working people will go to snack."