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July 18, 2009 at 2:15 PM
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New 'Harry Potter' film tops $100 million

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (UPI) -- The latest"Harry Potter" movie, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," has earned $107 million in its first three days in U.S. theaters, gate receipts show.

Entertainment Weekly reported online Saturday the sixth "Harry Potter" movie earned $26.8 million Friday, its third day in release in the United States.

Despite the initial domestic success of "Half-Blood Prince," the film's opening three-day total falls short of the tally earned by this summer's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

"Fallen" earned $127.8 million during the three days prior to its first Saturday in release.

The PG-rated movie is expected to earn strong weekend numbers thanks to its family-friendly rating, Entertainment Weekly said.

Third delay in Jackson custody hearing

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court spokesman says the hearing over guardianship of the late pop star Michael Jackson's children has been delayed a third time.

The unidentified spokesman confirmed Friday the hearing scheduled for Monday has now been delayed until Aug. 3, CNN reported.

Jackson named his mother Katherine as the guardian of his three children, Prince Michael, 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7, in his will.

Debbie Rowe, the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, has not confirmed if she will attempt to gain custody or visitation rights from Jackson's 79-year-old mother.

An unidentified attorney representing Rowe has rejected rumors this week that the woman was offering to skip a custody challenge in return for money from Jackson's family.

A Jackson family lawyer, whose identity was not reported, told CNN that Lowe and Katherine Jackson have been attempting to resolve the custody issue since Michael Jackson's death on June 25.

Celebs to honor Mandela at N.Y. concert

NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela says he is "humbled" by efforts to honor his 91st birthday, including a musical tribute in New York.

The former South African president, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, prepared a videotaped message for Saturday's scheduled birthday events since he does not have the strength to travel for such ceremonies, The Times of London reported.

"We are humbled by the call for an annual Mandela Day in our honor. It is our hope that people will dedicate their time and effort to improve the conditions within their own communities," said Mandela, who will celebrate his birthday in South Africa with family and friends.

The Radio City Music Hall celebration in New York in honor of Mandela will include performances from stars such as Carla Bruni, Queen Latifah, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys.

Former Eurythmics member Dave Stewart spoke with The Times about his planned duet with Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at Saturday's concert.

"It is addictive to listen to, and she writes very beautiful melodies and plays guitar well," he said of Bruni's musical works.

Cronkite to be remembered in TV special

NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- CBS News says it will honor the late anchorman Walter Cronkite with a primetime special entitled "That's The Way it Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite."

The CBS division said Sunday night's honorary special to Cronkite, who died Friday at the age of 92, will feature top political and entertainment figures sharing their memories of the former "CBS Evening News" anchorman.

Among those sharing remembrances on the program are President Barack Obama, former "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric and actor George Clooney.

"He brought us all those stories large and small which would come to define the 20th century," Obama said of Cronkite. "That's why we love Walter, because in an era before blogs and e-mail, cell phones and cable, he was the news."

"There is something that is so quintessentially American about Walter Cronkite," Couric offered, "his honesty and candor in difficult times… if someone has integrity, to me, that is the finest attribute they can have."

"His legacy will be one of the great legacies of great Americans. It sounds overstated, but it isn't. He's that important to us," Clooney said of the famed newscaster.

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