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June 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM
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'Super 8' dominates weekend box office

LOS ANGELES, June 12 (UPI) -- Sci-Fi thriller "Super 8," directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, owned the box office in its debut with $37 million in gross receipts.

Prequel "X-Men: First Class," starring James McAvoy and Kevin Bacon among others, raked in $25 million in its second week.

"The Hangover Part II," starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Paul Giamatti in an ensemble company, was a strong No. 3 at the box office with more than $18 million in its third week.

All studio estimated gross U.S. receipts are via Box Office Mojo.

The animated "Kung Fu Panda 2" was fourth with $16.6 million; "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" fifth with $10.8 million; "Bridesmaids" sixth with $10.2 million; "Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer" seventh with $6.3 million; "Midnight in Paris" eighth with $6.1 million; and "Thor" ninth with $2.3 million.

"Fast Five" rounded out the Top 10 with $1.7 million.

Sonny Rollins named Jazz Musician of Year

NEW YORK, June 12 (UPI) -- Veteran sax man Sonny Rollins was named Musician of the Year this weekend at the annual Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards in New York.

The 80-year-old Rollins, who also won the award for best tenor sax, was not present for the event because he was touring Australia and New Zealand to rave reviews.

The JJA said in a written statement despite Rollins' longevity, it was Jimmy Heath who received the Lifetime Achievement award.

Other awards went to Blue Note (Record Label of the Year), the Joe Lovano Us Five (Small Ensemble of the Year) and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire (Up and Coming Artist of the Year).

Gaga says 'ciao' to huge gay rally in Rome

ROME, June 12 (UPI) -- The crowd at Europride Day in Rome topped 1 million Saturday when American pop princess Lady Gaga took the stage, event organizers said.

The announcement "We are a million people" was made from the stage at Circus Maximus just minutes before the always-theatrical Gaga made her appearance in an aquamarine wig and black-and-white dress, the Agenzia Giornalistica Italia news service said Sunday.

"My greatest joy is being here with you and feeling part of every one of you," Gaga told the cheering throng.

Gaga fired off a few bars of her hit "Born this Way" and saluted Mayor Gianni Alemanno for the city's efforts in staging the festival.

Giornalistica Italia said the issue of same-sex marriage was a major theme of Europride Day. Signs in the crowd urged Italy to legalize gay marriage.

A Rome woman named Andrea told reporters she wanted to see gay marriages across Europe. "It's an international message to start developing a European mentality, and not only in Italy," she said.

Brad and Angelina give Joplin $500,000

JOPLIN, Mo., June 12 (UPI) -- U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have given $500,000 to help Joplin recover from a huge tornado that destroyed 30 percent of the Missouri town May 22.

Pitt and Jolie are well known for their philanthropy, and Pitt has a connection to Joplin, The Joplin Globe reported.

Pitt's mother attended high school and a local community college in Joplin. Pitt graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo.

"We had a call in the first day or two afterward from an organization representing them," said Brian Fogle, president of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. "They made several subsequent calls, but we learned that they made a donation (Thursday)."

The couple made the donation through the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a charitable group they started.

The money will be used down the road, Fogle said.

"It's been our experience that there is an outpouring on the relief side," Fogle said. "There are great agencies that focus on that. But people don't think about the long-term recovery, so that's what this fund is for."

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