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'Paranormal Activity 3' sets box-office records

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "Paranormal Activity 3" didn't just go bump in the night. It made a ton of noise at the box office with a record-setting, $54 million opening.

The third film in Paramount Pictures' low-budget fright franchise, which was No. 1 at the box office, had the biggest debut ever for a horror movie, according to Sunday studio estimates. It broke the previous record that part two set a year ago with $40.7 million. It's also the biggest opening ever for an October release, topping the $50.35 million Paramount's "Jackass 3D" made last year.

"Paranormal Activity 3" is actually a prequel, with the discovery of disturbing home-movie footage from 1988. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who made the creepy documentary "Catfish," took over directing duties this time.

Don Harris, Paramount's president of distribution, said the studio hoped part three would simply perform better than part two. The first "Paranormal Activity," with its reported $15,000 budget, became a phenomenon in 2009 through midnight screenings and word of mouth.

Harris believes this installment did so well because it's actually the best movie of the three. He noted that it appealed to an older crowd, with 47 percent over the age of 25 compared with 40 percent for "Paranormal Activity 2." Strong reviews also helped, he said, including a rave from Time magazine. And fundamentally, horror movies simply play better in a packed theater.

Last week's No. 1 release, the futuristic boxing robot adventure "Real Steel," fell to second place. It made $11.3 million for a domestic total of $67.2 million. Worldwide, the Disney movie has grossed $153.3 million.

Among the other new releases this week, Summit Entertainment's 3-D version of "The Three Musketeers" came in fourth place with $8.8 million. And Universal's "Johnny English Reborn," a sequel to the 2003 spy parody starring Rowan Atkinson, opened at No. 8 with $3.8 million.

But it's already a huge hit internationally, having made $104.5 million so far.


Corn industry is sour about sugar makers

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A representative for the corn industry says sugar makers should compete in the marketplace instead of the courtroom over the use of the term "corn sugar."

A federal judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit can go forward as the sugar industry seeks to stop the use of the term "corn sugar" for high fructose corn syrup.

Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said Sunday that sugar makers are attempting to shut down free speech.

Erickson praised the judge for granting a defense motion to drop individual corn companies as defendants, leaving only the trade association, and dismissing a part of the lawsuit claiming that the corn industry violated California law in addition to federal regulations.


Swedish fire shuts nuclear reactor

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- A nuclear reactor in southern Sweden has been shut down after a fire at the plant.

Plant operator OKG's spokesman Anders Ostberg says a fire started in a turbine hall of Reactor 2 around midnight Saturday but was quickly extinguished by local rescue workers.

Ostberg said Sunday the blaze appears to have been caused by oil that leaked onto a hot surface.

But he said further investigations are needed to determine what caused the oil leak and that it wasn't immediately clear when the nuclear plant would reopen.

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