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"Forgotten' leads box office amid weak theater turnout

It has been a bad time for movies in general lately, but good for thrillers like The Forgotten, which claimed the No. 1 box office spot over the weekend, scaring up $22-million.

The overall box office was down for the fourth straight weekend compared to the same time last year. But movies like The Forgotten, about a mother who believes supernatural forces have erased people from her life, and the zombie horror-satire Shaun of the Dead still debuted relatively strongly.

Meanwhile, Resident Evil: Apocalypse continued to play well in its third week, tying for fourth place with the new teen comedy First Daughter. Both earned an estimated $4-million.

Shaun of the Dead, a low-budget shocker that chronicles a slacker as he barely notices a zombie takeover, collected $3.3-million in only 607 theaters to rank No. 8.

By comparison, most of its competition was far more widely available to audiences in 2,000 to 3,000 locations.

The Katie Holmes comedy First Daughter, the year's second romantic fantasy about presidential offspring trying to escape the glare of public scrutiny, opened even more weakly than its predecessor, Mandy Moore's Chasing Liberty, which debuted last January with $6-million.

Last week's top movie, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, fell to second place with $6.7-million for a total of $25.6-million in its second week.

The Bernie Mac baseball comedy Mr. 3000 was third with $5-million and a total of $15.3-million.

Tyra Banks, rest of "Angels'

on lingerie nationwide tour

NEW YORK _ The Victoria's Secret Angels hit the road for the lingerie retailer's first nationwide tour: Angels Across America.

Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio will present the 2004 holiday gift collection in New York on Nov. 8, then travel to Chicago (Nov. 9), Las Vegas (Nov. 11) and Los Angeles (Nov. 12).

In Las Vegas, the Angels will be inducted into the Hard Rock Hall of Fame.

Outside the Bellagio Hotel, the renowned fountain show will welcome the models with pink water.

The tour will end in Los Angeles in a Victoria's Secret version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.

A one-hour special documenting the tour will air Dec. 13 on VH1.

Yale conference examines

life, work of Michael Jackson

NEW HAVEN, Conn. _ Michael Jackson, frequently savaged in the tabloid press, was picked apart by more rarified critics as scholars gathered for a conference on the pop star at Yale University.

Eighteen scholars from U.S. universities discussed sexual, racial and artistic aspects of Jackson's life and music Thursday and Friday in the first academic meeting to study him.

Jackson "in many ways is the black male crossover artist of the 20th century," said Seth Clark Silberman, who teaches about race and gender at Yale. "He has grown up in front of us, so we have a great investment in him, even though some people today may find his image disturbing."

Other universities have hosted conferences about Madonna and other pop stars, Silberman said.

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