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Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM
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'Bodies' warms up weekend box office

LOS ANGELES, D.C., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- "Warm Bodies," the zombie comedy starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, was No. 1 at the weekend box office with $19.505 million.

"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" was No. 2 with $9.21 million.

All studio estimates of gross North American receipts are via Box Office Mojo.

"Silver Linings Playbook" was third with $8.113 million; "Mama" fourth with $6.73 million; "Zero Dark Thirty" fifth with $5.3 million; "Bullet to the Head" sixth with $4.5 million.

"Parker" was seventh with $3.215 million; "Django Unchained" eighth with $3.039 million; "Les Miserables (2012)" ninth with $2.439 million.

"Lincoln" rounded out the top 10 with $2.412 million.

Idol's Iraq story was 'all lies'

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- "American Idol" season 12 contestant Matthew Farmer said he lied about receiving a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq.

The contestant said he has quit his involvement in the contest now that his fabricated tale has been revealed, The Hollywood Reporter reported Friday.

During his audition, Farmer told judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban he sustained a life-threatening brain injury from an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq. To make matters worse, he said the medication he took made him sterile, making the birth of his young daughter a miracle.

"It was ALL lies," Farmer wrote in a statement to guardianofvalor.com. "I in fact HAVE lied since a younger age and had a problem with it. I am coming out and making a statement (even though I was instructed not to) because I DO want to come clean."

Farmer initially denied making the claim, saying the show's producers heavily edited his audition clips to create the tale, The Hollywood Reporter said.

A fellow soldier who roomed with Farmer said he didn't receive a brain injury in combat, but from an overdose of acne medication and alcohol.

"I was a sniper section leader attached to his company and lived in the same room with him until he was Medevaced from Ramadi because he got drunk while he was taking Accutane," the soldier wrote to stolenvalor.com. "He was never involved in one single direct fire engagement, was never wounded, and made up this whole lie to try and make his story sound good to 'American Idol.' "

Directors guild honors Ben Affleck

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Ben Affleck won the best director award for his film "Argo" at the Directors Guild of America Awards ceremony in Hollywood.

"I don't think this makes me a real director, but I think it means I'm on my way," Affleck said of his second directing project Saturday evening.

Only six times has a DGA best director winner not also won the Academy Award for the same category, The Hollywood Reporter said. This year, that number increases to seven because Affleck was not nominated for a best director Oscar.

The film has so far won two Golden Globes, two Critics Choice Awards, the Producers Guild of America award and the Screen Actors Guild ensemble award. It has been nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty;" Tom Hooper, "Les Miserables;" Ang Lee, "Life of Pie;" and Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln," were also nominated for the DGA best director award.

The award for best documentary work went to Malik Bendjelloul for "Searching for Sugar Man," and Lena Dunham took home an award for her pilot for "Girls."

Celebrities in New Orleans for Super Bowl

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Beyonce, Neil Patrick Harris and a host of other celebrities have descended upon New Orleans in preparation for the Super Bowl Sunday, observers said.

Beyonce has been spotted at Mother's Restaurant and is expected to sing live during the Super Bowl halftime show, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Saturday.

Neil Patrick Harris gave the newspaper's reporters a personal tour of the city, while Will Ferrell made an appearance at an Audi party. Snoop has been seen talking with the Manning family.

Travel Channel's Adam Richman was filmed getting a king cake from Nonna Randazzo's.

Lil Wayne and Dan Aykroyd have been spotted touring the city as well, the newspaper reported.

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