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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
October 21

Entertainment News October 21 - TOP 3 Stories for Sunday

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READ THE TOP 10 THINGS MATTHEW TOFFOLO LEARNED THIS WEEK

TV NOT TO BLAME FOR VIOLENCE - STUDY SAYS

What makes kids smack other and maybe grow into homicidal adults? Not the tube, says new research, but a lack of social skills.

All babies are born with violent tendencies, which most kids learn to control as they grow older, a U. of Montreal professor who has spent more than 20 years studying 35,000 Canadian children told ScientificAmerican.com. Those who don't or can't learn are the ones who become violent.

"It's a natural behavior and it's surprising that the idea that children and adolescents learn aggression from the media is still relevant," Richard Tremblay told the website. "Clearly youth were violent before television appeared."

Tremblay, who is about to present his preliminary findings to Britain's academy of sciences in London, rejects the recently renewed criticisms of media violence as behavioral influences, instead maintaining that "unexpressed" or damaged genes affecting behavioral skills are the likely culprits.

"We''e looking at to what extent the chronically aggressive individuals show differences in terms of gene expressions compared to those on the normal trajectory," Tremblay told ScientificAmerican.com. "The individuals that are chronically aggressive have more genes that are not expressed." This is an indication "that the problem is at a very basic level," he added.

A pregnant woman's smoking, drinking, poor nutrition or exposure to excessive stress can cause or contribute to a fetus's abnormal genetic development, Tremblay said.

Damaged genes can prevent a child from learning skills for self-expression, reducing his ability to interact socially, and thus make him prone to violence. Tremblay cited genes involved with language acquisition and development as an example; children who can't speak well get frustrated easily and can erupt violently as a result.

Pointing to other research that claims to link media violence and childhood behavior, some social conservative groups as well as child advocacy organizations have in recent months urged Congress to take action against media violence, particularly violent TV programming and video games. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has promised to introduce legislation that would regulate TV violence but has yet to do so.

'30 DAYS OF NIGHT' THE #1 MOVIE

Sony's vampire horror pic "30 Days of Night" is easily on track to win the weekend at the domestic box office, while the crowded pack of new entries are largely having trouble sucking out much blood from theaters as business once again looks slow.

Director David Slade’s “30 Days,” starring Ben Foster and Josh Hartnett, grossed an estimated $6.2 million from 2,855 locations.

Lionsgate holdover laffer “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?” safely came in No. 2, grossing an estimated $3.4 million from 2,034 theaters as it entered its second frame for a cume of $30.2 million.

After that, the box office proved a close race for the top spots.

Holdovers “The Game Plan” and George Clooney starrer “Michael Clayton” came in No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, on Friday. Disney’s “Game Plan” declined only 19% from the previous Friday to $2.5 million from 3,301 runs as the family comedy entered its fourth frame for a cume of $63.5 million.

Warner Bros.’ more serious-minded “Clayton” declined just 32% from the previous Friday to $2.2 million from 2,585 runs for a cume of $14.9 million as it entered its second weekend in wide release.

Among new entries, 20th Century Fox’s sports spoof “The Comeback” edged out serious adult dramas, grossing an estimated $2.1 million from 2,812 runs for the No. 5 slot.

Ben Affleck’s feature directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone,” from Miramax, grossed an estimated $2 million from 1,713 runs in the best showing for new adult dramas vying for auds and awards attention. Critically acclaimed film, starring Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman, placed No. 6.

Disney’s re-issued family holiday title “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D” grossed an estimated $1.84 million from only 564 runs in its Friday bow for No. 7, edging out Sony’s holdover “We Own the Night,” which grossed an estimated $1.82 million on Friday for a cume of $16.1 million as it entered its second frame. “Night” declined 52% decline from the previous Friday.

Universal’s new politically minded entry “Rendition,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon, came in No. 9, grossing an estimated $1.4 million from 2,250 theaters in its Friday bow.

Proving the most disappointing among debuting adult dramas was DreamWorks-Paramount’s Halle Berry-Benicio Del Toro starrer “Things We Lost in the Fire,” which grossed an estimated $502,000 from 1,142 runs, putting it at No. 15, behind holdovers “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “Across the Universe,” “The Kingdom” and “Into the Wild.”

GOOGLE REVENUE LEAPS 57%

Continuing to leave its online search and advertising competitors in the dust, Google on Thursday reported a 57% jump in third-quarter revenue to $4.23 billion.

Of that, $1.22 billion went directly to affiliate sites, which get a cut of revenue for hosting Google's contextual ads.

Fast-rising costs kept earnings growth at a lower, but still impressive, 16% from the year-earlier quarter to $1.07 billion.

Netco made 65% of its revenue, all of which comes from advertising, on its own websites, such as its core search engine, GMail and YouTube; 34% came from affiliate sites that run Google's ads.

Other portals, such as Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN, are investing in their advertising and search capabilities in an effort to achieve growth rates closer to Google's. Yahoo recently reported a 12% increase in revenue to $1.77 billion for the third quarter, while net income fell 5% to $151 million (Daily Variety, Oct. 17).

Investors considered Google's continued strong growth rather ho-hum as shares were flat in after-hours trading. Before earnings came out, they were up 1% at $639.62.

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