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Last Update on September 22, 2014 07:21 GMT


NEW YORK (AP) -- A young adult novel made into a movie has gotten off to a good start. "The Maze Runner" was the top movie this past weekend at the box office, taking in $32.5 million in its debut weekend. Finishing second was "A Walk Among the Tombstones," followed by "This Is Where I Leave You." Dropping to fourth is "No Good Deed," followed by "Dolphin Tale 2."

It's the start of a new movie franchise. The AP's Jamie Friar looks at the weekend box office numbers.

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Sound of excerpt from

Sound of excerpt from "The Maze Runner," which was tops at the weekend box office.


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Taraji P. Henson says the crew of "No Good Deed" spent a lot of time together in the evenings. But they were working, not playing. Henson says she did many of the fight scenes at night, after the actors were already tired from a long day. She says "it was the most challenging" thing she has ever done. Idris Elba says shooting at night helped bring tension to the set and that made the scenes more realistic.

Taraji P. Henson says the fight scenes were challenging.

<<CUT ..010 (09/22/14)>> 00:15 "what happens next?"

Idris Elba

Idris Elba says shooting at night, when the actors were tired, was tricky.


UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) -- The coaches may not be the only people who need to be fast on the button on "The Voice." Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani say the network censors may have to have their bleep buttons handy -- because of Levine. Stefani says she's been around guys all her life -- but that Levine is "nasty and naughty and dirty and disgusting." And if that weren't enough, she adds that Levine "really has no filter." For his part, Levine agrees. He says he doesn't care what he says because "people find a way to get mad at you" no matter what you say -- so he'd rather be "gross and funny and outlandish." The seventh season of "The Voice" begins tonight, with Pharrell Williams joining Stefani as newcomers along with returning coaches Levine and Blake Shelton.

Gwen Stefani says Adam Levine is not what she expected.

<<CUT ..006 (09/22/14)>> 00:11 "a surreal thing"

Pharrell (fah-REL') Williams and Gwen Stefani, musicians

Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani were asked if "The Voice" was anything like they expected.

<<CUT ..007 (09/22/14)>> 00:18 "that never happens"

Blake Shelton, musician

Blake Shelton says Pharrell Williams utlizes his nice-guy personality ruthlessly. (refers to musician and fellow "The Voice" judge Adam Levine) ((not length of cut))


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Pharrell Williams said he was upset that Iranian teenagers were arrested for doing a video in which they performed his Oscar-nominated song "Happy." Now, there has been a legal resolution in the case. Authorities in Iran have sentenced the six dancers -- and their director -- to suspended sentences. Part of the sentence: a set of 91 lashes each, in part for violating Islamic moral standards. In the case of the video, part of the violation was that members of the opposite sex were seen dancing without the women having the required head covering. The sentences won't be imposed if those involved stay out of trouble for the next six years.

AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports there has been a sentence in a case in which young Iranians were arrested for dancing on a video to Pharrell Williams' "Happy."

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's the end of the line for some ads promoting the new Fox TV series "Red Band Society." Transit officials in Los Angeles are pulling the ads from nearly 200 buses after people complained they were sexist and racist. The ads in question show the cast in front of a wall -- with graffiti describing each character. The character played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer uses the "b-word" to describe her. One person who complained to transit officials said she didn't know whether she found the ads more offensive because she's a woman -- or because she's black.

AP Entertainment Editor Oscar Wells Gabriel reports bus ads promoting a new TV show are being pulled in Los Angeles. ((note contents))

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NEW YORK (AP) -- She entertained in a variety of ways. So it was no surprise that those paying tribute to Ruby Dee used poetry, dance and song to honor her memory. The Saturday event included a performance of the song "Superwoman" by Alicia Keys -- and actor Courtney B. Vance called the three-hour ceremony "an absolute celebration." Among those sending a message were President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. In a letter read by former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, the Obamas praised her for living an "extraordinary life" and for "throwing open the doors of opportunities." Harry Belafonte delivered the eulogy via video.

Ruby Dee's daughter, Hasna Muhammad, touchingly recalled how the actress and activist was also a mother.

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Sound of Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, performing "This Little Light of Mine" with Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia

Sound of Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary, performing "This Little Light of Mine" with Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia, at memorial service for Ruby Dee.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Who knew? The villain known as The Penguin in the "Batman" series has a real name. And yeah, we'll tell you: it's Oswald Cobblepot -- which probably explains why he was such a bad guy. But the guy who plays the Penguin in the TV series "Gotham" says he's been inspired versions of the avian agitator done by Danny DeVito and Burgess Meredith. Gotham sets itself as a prequel to the Batman series we've seen in the movies. Robin Lord Taylor says he imagines that The Penguin was teased by other kids, which probably explains how he turned out. Gotham's premiere is tonight on Fox.