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Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, ‘Goonies’ fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.”

Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

Jericho Wolf Labonte, 35, of Victoria, British Columbia, was taken into custody in the northwestern Oregon resort town of Seaside, police said in a news release.

He’d been pulled from the ocean hours earlier by a Coast Guard swimmer, just after the yacht he was piloting capsized amid high waves. He was briefly hospitalized for mild hypothermia.

Labonte was discharged before authorities in nearby Astoria, Oregon, saw the rescue video and said they recognized him as the same person who covered over security cameras at the “Goonies” house and left the fish on the porch.

Police in Seaside, about 17 miles south of Astoria, said they found Labonte on Friday evening at a homeless shelter where he was staying “under an alias,” and arrested him on charges of theft, criminal mischief, endangering another person and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

He’s also wanted in Canada for “other cases,” Seaside police said.

It wasn’t immediately clear Sunday whether Labonte had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

“It’s been a really odd 48 hours,” Astoria Police Chief Stacy Kelly said Friday.

Police had been looking for Labonte since Wednesday, when an acquaintance alerted them to a video Labonte posted on social media of himself leaving a dead fish at the “Goonies” house and dancing around the property, Kelly said. The Victorian home was recently sold to a fan of the film, after being listed for $1.7 million.

Friday afternoon, before Labonte’s arrest, the Coast Guard shared stunning video of the rescue by Petty Officer 1st Class Branch Walton, a newly minted rescue swimmer from Greenville, South Carolina.

The 35-foot (11-meter) yacht had been reported stolen by its owner Friday afternoon. As the swimmer approached, a large wave slammed into the vessel, rolling it over and throwing a man, later identified as Labonte, into the water.

The mouth of the Columbia, the largest North American river flowing into the Pacific Ocean, is known as “the graveyard of the Pacific” for its notoriously rough seas.

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Associated Press writer Rio Yamat reported from Las Vegas.


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Judge: Banning guns for marijuana users unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled that a federal law prohibiting people who use marijuana from owning firearms is unconstitutional, the latest challenge to firearms regulations after the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority set new standards for reviewing the nation’s gun laws.

Lawyers for Jared Michael Harrison had argued that their client’s Second Amendment right to bear arms was being violated by a federal law that makes it illegal for “unlawful users or addicts of controlled substances” to possess firearms.

Harrison had been charged after being arrested by police in Lawton, Oklahoma, in May 2022 following a traffic stop. During a search of his car, police found a loaded revolver as well as marijuana. Harrison told police he had been on his way to work at a medical marijuana dispensary, but that he did not have a state-issued medical-marijuana card.

His lawyers had argued the portion of federal firearms law focused on drug users or addicts was not consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation, echoing what the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled last year in a case known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. That case set new standards for interpreting the Second Amendment.

Federal prosecutors had argued that the portion of the law focused on drug users is “consistent with a longstanding historical tradition in America of disarming presumptively risky persons, namely, felons, the mentally ill, and the intoxicated.”

U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick in Oklahoma City agreed with Harrison’s lawyers, ruling on Friday that federal prosecutors’ arguments that Harrison’s status as a marijuana user “justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm … is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison.”

“But the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports,” said Wyrick, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. In his ruling, Wyrick highlighted that under Oklahoma law, marijuana can be bought legally at more than 2,000 store fronts in the state.

Attorneys for Harrison, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, which was prosecuting the case, did not immediately return emails seeking comment Sunday.

The ruling came a day after a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday ruled that the government can’t stop people who have domestic violence restraining orders against them from owning guns. The panel referenced the Bruen decision in its ruling. Two of the three judges on the panel are Trump appointees.

The Justice Department has said it will seek further review of the appeals court’s decision.

In September, a federal judge in Midland, Texas, ruled that a firearms law that bans those under felony indictment from buying guns is unconstitutional. In that case, U.S. District Judge David Counts, also a Trump appointee, also echoed the Supreme Court’s language in the Bruen case, saying there was “little evidence” the ban related to being under indictment “aligns with this Nation’s historical tradition.”


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Program’s head says Iowa school shooting won’t deter him

The founder of an educational program for at-risk youth in Des Moines says he will remain “all in on helping kids that are not reachable in so many peoples’ eyes” after he was wounded in last month’s shooting that killed two students.

Will Keeps, 49, a former Chicago gang member who moved to Iowa in his 20s and later founded the Starts Right Here program, made his first public comments about the shooting this weekend in a video the police department posted online.

“We went all in on helping kids that are not reachable in so many peoples’ eyes,” he said. “Our youth is looking to us to not run. If they constantly keep seeing us say, ‘Oh, we can’t, we’re done,’ what do you think they’re going to do? They going to be done. So become a beast. We need you to fight, become a warrior. And we need to do it together.”

Keeps, a rapper whose given name is Will Homes, had his right arm in a cast held up by a blue sling in the video and kept a walker sitting next to his chair. He was just released from the hospital last week.

Students Gionni Dameron, 18, and Rashad Carr, 16, were killed in the Jan. 23 shooting at the program, which provides help to students under a contract with Des Moines Public Schools. Two other teens have been charged with murder in the shooting. Police have said all four teens were involved with gangs, although the families of the victims denied that.

Keeps said he continues to encounter the kind of violence he experienced as a youth in Chicago when he saw rival gang members kill his friend and he was himself severely beaten.

“I’ve lived it and I’ve seen it every day of my life. I’m not going to sit up here and ignore the fact that we’re killing each other. And we’re killing each other as easy as seeing a fly on the wall and swatting it or seeing an ant on the ground and stomping on it,” he said. “Our youth is in trouble, and we constantly kept doing the same thing over and over and over and over again, and it ain’t working.”

Police have charged Preston Walls, 18, and Bravon Michael Tukes, 19, both of Des Moines, with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of criminal gang participation. Bail was set at $2.5 million for each.

Police say Walls, a Starts Right Here participant, entered a common area of the building Jan. 23 and opened fire before fleeing in a car driven by Tukes. The two belong to a gang and committed the shootings “in connection with that gang membership,” according to police.

Walls waived his preliminary hearing and is awaiting an arraignment that is scheduled for next month, according to online court records. His attorney has declined to comment.

Tukes’ preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday. The lawyers who have been appointed to represent him were not reachable Sunday.


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Northeast temperatures soar a day after bone-numbing cold

Temperatures in many areas of the Northeast U.S. climbed to the mid-40s Fahrenheit on Sunday, a day after the region suffered through temperatures that plummeted into the negative teens and felt like minus 45 to minus 50 degrees with the wind chill.

Atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the temperature rose to a relatively balmy 18 degrees (8 Celsius) a day after the actual temperature nosedived to minus 47 F (minus 44 C) and the wind chill was measured in excess of minus 108 degrees.

The warming weather extended to Texas, where thousands of Austin residents were still without power five days after an ice storm knocked out electricity to nearly a third of the city. By Sunday, more than 90% of the city had power, according to Austin Energy. But the lights were still out for 40,000 customers and there was no timetable for completing repairs.

Katy Manganella, 37, grew so fed-up that when Austin Energy came to her neighborhood Sunday with a charging station for residents — but still no repair trucks — she paced in front of the station holding a poster that read, “This pregnant lady is over it!”

“It’s been pretty miserable,” said Manganella, a therapist who is seven months pregnant. “How is there no plan for this?”

Back in the Northeast, there was some collateral damage from the extreme cold and high winds.

Boston Medical Center closed its emergency department after a pipe froze and burst on Saturday night. It is expected to remain closed until Tuesday.

“All patients in the affected areas of the Emergency Department were safely moved to other areas of the hospital,” the center said in a tweet.

A Providence, Rhode Island armory being used as a warming center had some of its windows blown out by raging winds on Friday into Saturday, but repairs were soon completed. No one at the Cranston Street Armory was ever in danger, Matthew Sheaff, a spokesperson for Gov. Dan McKee, said in an email Sunday. People simply moved to other rooms, he said.

Boston’s Boch Center Wang Theater was forced to cancel two sold-out shows by the Impractical Jokers when a sprinkler pipe in the boiler room burst at about 5 p.m. Saturday, the theater said on social media.

The building was evacuated and the shows canceled when the fire department and theater management determined the system could not be quickly repaired. The shows were rescheduled for late April.

James “Murr” Murray of the Impractical Jokers posted his own apology on Twitter.

“To all of our Boston fans, so sorry about tonight. We were five minutes from showtime, with a full theater, at the first show tonight, and the pipes burst from the cold in Boston and flooded the entire basement of the theater,” he said in a short video.

The above average temperatures were expected to stick around awhile, said Bob Oravec, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

“We’re having much more milder flow across a good part of the country and we do expect the temperatures to be above average for the upcoming week across the good part of the country, especially the Northeast,” Oravec said.

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Paul Weber in Austin, Texas and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.


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Evacuations urged in Ohio town as train wreck smolders

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — A smoldering tangle of dozens of derailed freight cars, some carrying hazardous materials, has kept an evacuation order in effect in Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line as environmental authorities warily watch air quality monitors.

About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine at about 9 p.m. Friday as a train was carrying a variety of products from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said. No injuries to crew, residents or first responders have been reported.

East Palestine officials said Sunday that emergency responders were monitoring but keeping their distance from the fire, saying remediation efforts could not begin as long as the cars smoldered. The evacuation covers a a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius, officials said.

Mayor Trent Conaway, who declared a state of emergency in the village, said one person was arrested for going around barricades right up to the crash during the night. He warned that more arrests would follow if people did not to stay away.

“I don’t know why anybody would want to be up there; you’re breathing toxic fumes if you’re that close,” he said, stressing that monitors of air quality away from the fire showed no levels of concern and the town’s water is safe because it is fed by groundwater unaffected by some material that went into streams. Environmental protection agency crews were working to remove contaminants from streams and monitor water quality.

Fire Chief Keith Drabick said it was so important to avoid the area “because a train carrying hazardous material wrecked in the town and is burning. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.”

Sheriffs went door-to-door Sunday to count residents remaining and urge people within the evacuation area to leave. “We are asking residents to please evacuate and cooperate,” officials said in a statement. Schools and village offices will be closed Monday and officials would determine that afternoon whether the school closure would be extended.

Norfolk Southern said 20 of the more than 100 cars were classified as carrying hazardous materials — defined as cargo that could pose any kind of danger “including flammables, combustibles, or environmental risks.” Some cars carried vinyl chloride, and at least one was “intermittently releasing” its contents via a pressure release device.

The National Transportation Safety Board said only 10 cars carrying hazardous materials derailed and five of them were carrying vinyl chloride, not 14 as was said earlier. And officials stressed again late Saturday that they had not confirmed the release of vinyl chloride other than from pressure release devices operating as designed.

Vinyl chloride, used to make the polyvinyl chloride hard plastic resin in a variety of plastic products, is associated with increased risk of liver cancer and other cancers, according to the federal government’s National Cancer Institute. Norfolk Southern was to provide a fact sheet listing all chemicals involved.

The evacuation order covered homes of 1,500 to 2,000 of the town’s 4,800 to 4,900 residents, but officials said it was unknown exactly how many were actually affected. About eight residents remained at an emergency shelter. Norfolk Southern opened an assistance center in the village to gather information from affected residents; village officials said 75 people went to the center Saturday and about 100 had been there Sunday morning.


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US officials offer Congress briefing on Trump documents

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials have offered to brief congressional leaders on their investigation into the classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Sunday.

A briefing could come as soon as this week. But it may not meet demands from lawmakers who want to review the documents taken not just from Mar-a-Lago but also from the Wilmington, Delaware, home and former private office in Washington belonging to President Joe Biden and the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.

Six months after federal agents conducted an unprecedented search of a former president’s home for classified documents, the White House faces bipartisan pressure to share what it found with lawmakers who say the are concerned about the potential damage to national security and intelligence sources. Separate special counsels are investigating the documents found in the possession of Trump and Biden.

Officials have declined to answer most questions in public or private about what they found citing the ongoing criminal investigation and a separate “risk assessment” of the possible damage to intelligence sources.

Rep. Mike Turner, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the administration notified him it would brief on the documents this week.

“This administration needs to understand we do have national security urgent matters,” said Turner, R-Ohio. he also called on the White House to brief him on the Chinese balloon shot down Saturday.

“What’s interesting is that the moment this balloon became public, I got a notice not from the administration that I’m going to get a briefing on this balloon, but they have to rush to Congress now to talk to us about Donald Trump’s documents,” he said.

Three people familiar with the matter confirmed a congressional briefing was offered to the “Gang of Eight” — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and of both intelligence committees. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Any briefing is not expected to include direct access to the documents that were seized, the people said.

Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked for that access in a letter last week to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

It’s also unclear whether the administration will discuss the records found in Biden’s and Pence’s possession. Turner told NBC that the records linked to Biden and Pence would be included, while two people familiar said the briefing was expected to focus only on Trump.

The director of national intelligence’s office and Department of Justice both declined to comment Sunday.

The Justice Department says roughly 300 documents with classified markings, including at the top-secret level, have been recovered from Mar-a-Lago after being taken there after Trump left the White House. Last August, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the property after developing evidence that led them to believe that Trump and his representatives had not returned all the classified files.

The material taken at that time included roughly 13,000 government documents, including about 100 bearing classification markings. Some of the material was so sensitive that Justice Department prosecutors and FBI counterintelligence investigators required additional security clearances to review them.

A special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating whether to bring charges against Trump or anyone else related to the documents. Prosecutors have revealed that they are investigating possible violations of multiple criminal statutes, including willful retention of national defense information and obstruction. A grand jury in Washington has been hearing evidence and federal prosecutors have interviewed multiple Trump associates. It is not clear how much longer that investigation will last.

Trump has claimed that the materials were declassified and that he had the power to do so just by thinking about it, though his lawyers have not repeated that claim. They tried to have an independent arbiter conduct an outside review of the documents, though a federal appeals court late last year ended that work and said Trump’s team was not entitled to that assessment.

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AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report.


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Charles Kimbrough, who played anchor in ‘Murphy Brown,’ dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Kimbrough, a Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor who played a straight-laced news anchor opposite Candice Bergen on “Murphy Brown,” died Jan. 11 in Culver City, California. He was 86.

Kimbrough played newsman Jim Dial across the 10 seasons of CBS hit sitcom “Murphy Brown” between 1988 and 1998, earning an Emmy nomination in 1990 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. He reprised the role for three episodes in the 2018 reboot.

The New York Times first reported his death and his son confirmed it Sunday to The Associated Press.

Kimbrough’s wife, actor Beth Howland who played diner server Vera on the 1970s and ’80s CBS sitcom “Alice,” died in 2016. They married in 2002, more than a decade after his 1991 divorce from his first wife, Mary Jane (Wilson) Kimbrough, who died in 2007.

The Times reports that Kimbrough is survived by a sister, Linda Kimbrough, a son, John Kimbrough, and a stepdaughter, Holly Howland.

Born May 23, 1936, Kimbrough spent years in the New York theater scene. He was nominated for a Tony in 1971 for his Broadway performance in the Steven Sondheim musical “Company.”

Kimbrough also lent his voice to a gargoyle named Victor in Disney’s animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”


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Balloon bickering over Biden’s actions, China’s intentions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers on Sunday accused China of deliberately surveilling sensitive U.S. military sites with a suspected spy balloon and said the Biden administration had given Beijing an intelligence opening by not downing the balloon during its high-altitude drift through American airspace.

The balloon’s presence in the sky above the United States before a military jet shot it down over the Atlantic Ocean with a missile Saturday further strained U.S.-China ties. America’s top diplomat abruptly scrapped a trip to Beijing and China’s defense ministry said in a statement after the balloon fell into the waters off the Carolina coast that it “reserves the right to take necessary measures to deal with similar situations.”

“Clearly this was an attempt by China to gather information, to defeat our command and control of our sensitive missile defense and nuclear weapon sites,” said the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, among the members of Congress on the Sunday news shows. “And that certainly is an urgency that this administration does not recognize.”

U.S. defense and military officials said the balloon entered the U.S. air defense zone north of the Aleutian Islands on Jan. 28 and moved largely over land across Alaska and then into Canadian airspace in the Northwest Territories on Monday. It crossed back into U.S. territory over northern Idaho on Tuesday, the day the White House said President Joe Biden was first briefed on it. “It defies belief to suggest there was nowhere” between Alaska and the Carolinas where the U.S. could have safely shot down the balloon, said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the full Senate will get a briefing next week on the balloon, including details about its surveillance capabilities, and that the administration is considering measures against the Chinese for “their brazen activities.” He said the GOP criticism was political and premature, and that the U.S. had “sent a clear message to China that this is not acceptable.”

Biden issued the shootdown order but had wanted it to happen earlier, on Wednesday. He was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, U.S. officials said. Military officials determined that bringing down the balloon over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on the ground.

“The message they (the Chinese) were trying to send is what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once great superpower that’s hollowed out, that’s in decline,” said Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “And the message they’re trying to send the world is, ‘Look, these guys can’t even do anything about a balloon flying over U.S. airspace. How can you possibly count on them if something were to happen in the Indo-Pacific region?’”

By Wednesday the balloon was over Montana, home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, which has fields of nuclear missile silos.

The Chinese “didn’t go and look at the Grand Canyon,” Turner said. “They went and looked at our nuclear weapon sites and the missile defense sites throughout the country.”

On Thursday the Pentagon publicly exposed the balloon, and after that, “China maneuvered the balloon to leave the U.S.,” Schumer told reporters Sunday. A U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the balloon changed course at that point.

That it could be maneuvered ran counter to China’s contention that the balloon — claimed to be a civilian airship used mainly for meteorological research — had limited “self-steering” capabilities and had “deviated far from its planned course” because of winds.

“This was not an accident. This was deliberate. It was intelligence, you know?” said retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

Asked whether elements of the Chinese military may have wanted to disrupt Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit, Mullen responded: “Clearly, I think that’s the case.”

He said “this really damages a relationship between us and China” and “puts a big dent in moving forward in a constructive way, which we really need to do.”

To Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who leads a new House committee on China, the message conveyed by Beijing is “look what we can do to you and get away with. Your corporations, your career politicians, they will come crawling back.”

The flight came to an end at about 2:39 p.m. EST Saturday, when an F-22 fighter jet fired a missile at the balloon, puncturing it while it was about 6 nautical miles off the coast near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, defense officials said.

The debris landed in 47 feet of water, shallower than officials had expected, and it spread out over roughly 7 miles. Officials estimated the recovery efforts would be completed in a short time, not weeks.

Defense officials who briefed reporters have said the U.S. was able to collect intelligence on the balloon as it flew over the country. They said the military concluded that the technology on the balloon didn’t give the Chinese significant intelligence beyond what it could already obtain from satellites, though the U.S. took steps to mitigate what information it could gather as it moved along.

Turner was on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rubio was on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mullen was on ABC and Gallagher appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

—-

Associated Press writers Mike Balsamo and Tara Copp contributed to this report


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‘Knock at the Cabin’ knocks off ‘Avatar’ at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn’t belong to blue people.

After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin” and the octogenarian comedy “80 for Brady.”

“Knock at the Cabin,” a home invasion horror film with an apocalyptic riff, dethroned James Cameron’s 3-D sci-fi epic with $14.2 million in ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Universal Pictures release stars Dave Bautista as one of four strangers who approach a family vacationing in a rural cabin.

The opening for “Knock at the Cabin” came up shy of some of Shyamalan’s recent releases. His last film, 2021’s “Old,” about a beach that rapidly ages those who visit it, launched with $16.9 million and ultimately collected $90.1 million worldwide. His 2019 film “Glass,” the third installment in the director’s “Unbreakable” trilogy, opened with $40.3 million on its way to grossing $247 million globally. Every other film directed by Shyamalan has opened higher than “Knock at the Cabin.”

But “Knock at the Cabin” still marks Shyamalan’s seventh film as director to open No. 1. With a modest budget of $20 million, “Knock at the Cabin” should easily turn a profit. The film, which drew mostly positive reviews from critics (68% on Rotten Tomatoes), added another $7 million internationally.

Taking second place was “80 for Brady,” a comedy about four friends (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field) who take a trip to the 2017 Super Bowl. It opened with an estimated $12.5 million. Shortly after announcing his retirement from football (again), Tom Brady attended the film’s premiere.

Paramount Pictures employed a unique strategy in releasing “80 for Brady.” While many films have sought to capitalize on higher ticket prices through large-format or 3-D screenings or surge pricing, which films like “The Batman” have tried, Paramount went the other direction on “80 for Brady.” The studio partnered with exhibitors, including the largest chains, to play “80 for Brady” at matinee prices to help lure its largely older audience. (Half of ticket buyers were over the age of 55.)

It seemed to work. At a time when comedies have struggled mightily in theaters, “80 for Brady” (with a production budget of $28 million) had one of the best openings for a live-action comedy in years. Discount pricing is to continue for the rest of the film’s run.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” slide to third with $10.8 million domestically in its eighth weekend. The film’s No. 1 streak matched the run of 2009’s “Avatar.” In the last four decades, only those two by Cameron and his “Titanic” (1997) have had such sustained reigns atop the box office.

“The Way of Water” continues to perform especially strongly overseas, where its $27.9 million this weekend pushed its overall total to $2.17 billion worldwide. That puts it at fourth highest gross of all-time; Cameron — with two “Avatar” films and “Titanic” — now accounts for three of the top four.

“BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas” took in $5.1 million to land in fifth place. The BTS concert film is drawn from their October 2022 performance in Busan, South Korea — a send-off show before the group began a two-year hiatus. It opened in 1,111 locations.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Knock at the Cabin,” $14.2 million.

2. “80 for Brady,” $12.5 million.

3. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” $10.8 million.

4. “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” $8 million.

5. “BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas,” $5.1 million.

6. “A Man Called Otto,” $4.2 million.

7. “M3gan,” $3.8 million.

8. “Missing,” $3.7 million.

9. “The Chosen Season 3 Finale,” $3.6 million.

10. “Pathaan,” $2.8 million.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP


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Biden’s State of the Union to tout policy wins on economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his second State of the Union address on Tuesday to remind Americans of how their lives have been improved over his first two years in office, as he tries to confront pessimism in the country and navigate the tricky politics of a newly divided Washington.

Rather than laying out major new policy proposals, Biden was expected to devote much of his speech to highlighting his efforts over the past two years to create jobs, fight inflation and improve the nation’s infrastructure. The speech comes as Biden is honing his pitch to voters ahead of his expected announcement in the next few months that he will seek another term in office despite voter frustrations about the direction of the nation.

“Next week, I’ll be reporting on the state of the Union,” Biden said Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report that saw the unemployment rate drop to the lowest level in more than 53 years. “But today, I’m happy to report that the state of the Union and the state of our economy is strong.”

Biden’s remarks from the House rostrum will take place in a sharply different context from a year ago. Republicans now control the chamber, rendering it unlikely that any significant legislation reaches Biden’s desk. The newly empowered GOP is itching to undo many of Biden’s achievements and raising the specter of persistent investigations — including into the recent discoveries of classified documents from his time as vice president at his home and former office.

“Jobs are up, wages are up, inflation is down, and COVID no longer controls our lives,” Biden told the Democratic National Committee on Friday. “But now, the extreme MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives have made it clear they intend to put it all at risk. They intend to destroy it.”

The president, meanwhile, is shifting his focus from legislating to implementing the massive infrastructure and climate bills passed in the last Congress — and to trying to make sure Americans credit him for the improvements.

“These things don’t sell themselves,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday on NBC. “And it’s one of the reasons I’m really looking forward to that State of the Union address. I will say that there have been so many accomplishments under this administration. It can be difficult to list them in a distilled way.”

While large-scale bipartisanship remains unlikely, Biden was set to reissue his 2022 appeal for Congress to get behind his “unity agenda” of actions to address the opioid epidemic, mental health, veterans’ health and cancer.

Biden will also call on lawmakers to responsibly raise the debt limit and keep the government funded. The president has remained opposed to negotiating to avoid default, while Republicans are pushing for unspecified deep spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

Biden, according to two administration officials who requested anonymity to preview the speech, was also expected to discuss his decision to shoot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon Saturday, as part of a broader section on countering China’s more assertive economic and military actions around the world.

His address last year came just days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine and many in the West doubted Kyiv’s ability to avoid a swift routing. Now the war is on the cusp of entering its second year, and under Biden the U.S. and allies have sent tens of billions of dollars in military and economic assistance to bolster Ukraine’s defenses. Now the president must make the case — both at home and abroad — for sustaining that coalition as the war drags on.

Meanwhile, inflation, which rose precipitously last year in part because of soaring energy prices from the war, has begun to ease.

Still, only a quarter of U.S. adults say things in the country are headed in the right direction, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research; about three-quarters say things are on the wrong track.

Similarly, views of the national economy remain deeply negative, with 24% calling the national economy good and 76% calling it poor. Forty-one percent of Democrats and 8% of Republicans call the economy good. The figures are similar to when Biden delivered his State of the Union address last year, but an adjustment from Biden’s first year in office when Americans were more optimistic; about half said they thought the country was headed in the right direction when the president took office.

At the same time, 57% say their personal financial situation is good. That’s unchanged since December but has eroded slightly since earlier last year. No less than 62% of Americans had called their personal financial situation good in AP-NORC polls conducted from late 2019 through spring of 2022.

Two years after Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, a protective fence was reinstalled Sunday around the Capitol ahead of Biden’s address.

After the speech, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and his Cabinet plan to hold over 30 events in two days to drive the message home to the American people in their communities. Biden will visit Wisconsin to discuss job creation on Wednesday and on Thursday will be in Tampa, Florida to talk about his efforts to lower prescription drug costs and protect Social Security and Medicare.

“During the State of the Union, President Biden will outline how the past two years has seen historic job growth, falling inflation, higher wages, and record investments coming back to America,” the White House said. “The economic travel blitz showcases how the president’s vision is creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering costs for families, tackling climate change, investing in our future and delivering for families too often left behind.”

The travel follows Biden’s stops last week in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia focused on rail and water infrastructure projects funded by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.

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Associated Press writers Aamer Madhani, Emily Swanson and Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.


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