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Prinze buys Old World home in Los Angeles

As if being a movie star with Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a girlfriend weren't enough, Freddie Prinze Jr. now owns a $3-million home.

Prinze, 24, bought a five-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot house in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

The one-story house, built in the 1930s, has a guest house and a pool. The home is in the Old World style, an architectural and design style that reflects European antiquity.

Prinze is dating Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays the title role in TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He appeared in the movies Boys and Girls and Down to You, released earlier this year, and co-stars in the upcoming comedy-romance Head Over Heels.

Pavarotti says he yearns to sing beside Madonna

Luciano Pavarotti, one of the world's most famous opera stars, has collaborated with a number of pop musicians, including U2's Bono, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin and the Eurythmics' Annie Lennox.

But Madonna has been playing hard to get.

"I have wanted to sing with Madonna for a very long time," said Pavarotti in Sunday's editions of the New York Post. "She has promised that she would sing, but I do not know if she was joking or serious. But I think she was serious because she is a serious lady. She is also a superb singer."

Pavarotti, 64, is scheduled to perform at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

"Mars, Venus' author gives new advice on inner self

After years of writing about the cosmic differences between men and women, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus has a new piece of advice for both sexes: Stop being so dependent.

John Gray, who has written 10 books about relationships, says people make a mistake when they try to find happiness and love through others, material things such as money, and doctors and medicine.

"What happens is that we disconnect with what makes us happy," Gray says.

Gray says people need to embrace their inner ability to find happiness, success and love.

His latest book Practical Miracles for Mars and Venus: Nine Principles for Lasting Love, Increasing Success and Vibrant Health in the 21st Century is set for release Tuesday.

Thriller tops box office tally for weekend

The Watcher, a thriller about a serial killer tracking an FBI agent, slew the competition at the weekend box office but wasn't enough to keep movie revenue from falling behind last year's record pace.

The thriller, starring Keanu Reeves, James Spader and Marisa Tomei, grossed $9.1-million Friday through Sunday, according to box office estimates Sunday.

Another new release, the dark comedy Nurse Betty with Morgan Freeman and Renee Zellweger, opened strong with a $7.3-million gross. It had the weekend's top per-screen average for films in wide distribution, averaging $5,003 on 1,459 screens.

The re-issue of This Is Spinal Tap was the top-grossing film in revenue per screen, averaging $5,400 in just 10 theaters.

This was the seventh straight weekend that total gross revenue was less than the previous year. Until this weekend, however, box office receipts for the year were slightly ahead of 1999, said Paul Dergarabedian of Exhibitor Relations Co., a box office tracking firm.

Despite the lower receipts, this has been the second most successful summer on record for Hollywood. Film revenue was $2.73-billion during the Memorial Day to Labor Day period, compared with about $3-billion for last summer.

The industry could still match or exceed last year's record of $7.5-billion gross revenue depending on the success of holiday releases, Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations:

1. The Watcher, $9.1-million.

2. Nurse Betty, $7.3-million.

3. Bring It On, $6.5-million.

4. The Cell, $3.5-million.

5. Space Cowboys, $3.3-million.

6. What Lies Beneath, $2.9-million.

7. The Original Kings of Comedy, $2.5-million.

8. The Art of War, $2.4-million.

9. The Way of the Gun, $2.2-million.

10. Highlander: Endgame, $1.8-million.

_ Compiled by Times wires.