Radcliffe into indies, but 'Potter' follows

SAN DIEGO - J.K. Rowling published a new Harry Potter short story last month. And Daniel Radcliffe braced himself once again.

The 25-year-old British star faces consistent and persistent questions from fans and the press about whether he'll return to the character that he spent much of his childhood playing. Rowling's story of a 34-year-old Potter posted online was not going to help matters.

"I go, 'OK, thank you Jo. I'll be answering questions about this,' " Radcliffe said in a recent interview. "She can't help it. She wrote me 10 years older and people are still asking me if I'm going to be doing it. He's 10 years older than I am in this story so it's really not even a hypothetical at the moment. I would obviously never say never because that's a foolish thing to say, but I would have to think long and hard before I ever went back to anything."

Radcliffe was at Comic-Con International in San Diego promoting one of his two upcoming films, the darkly comic horror tale "Horns." In it, he plays a man accused of killing his girlfriend who grows horns that prompt people around him to reveal their darkest secrets.

"Horns," directed by Alexandre Aja, is set for release Oct. 31. Radcliffe's other new film, the romantic comedy "What If," opened last weekend.

'Ninja Turtles' bring box-office power

LOS ANGELES - "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" sliced off $65 million at the weekend box office.

Paramount Pictures' comic-book adaptation featuring Megan Fox alongside computer-generated renditions of the pizza-eating, sewer-dwelling superheroes lunged into first place in its debut weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"Ninja Turtles," which also stars Will Arnett and William Fichtner, made an additional $28.7 million in international markets such as Russia, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan, bringing its worldwide total to a radical $93.7 million.

Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy" slid into second place in its second weekend with $41.5 million, bringing its total domestic haul to $175.9 million.

"Guardians" and "Ninja Turtles" are coming to the rescue of an otherwise shell-shocked summer box office, which is still down more than 16 percent over a year ago.

Several newcomers debuted distantly behind the heroes on the half-shell this weekend.

The Warner Bros. disaster film "Into the Storm" touched down in third place with $18 million, while the Disney culinary drama "The Hundred-Foot Journey," starring Helen Mirren, arrived in fourth place with $11.1 million. Universal's dance sequel "Step Up All In" popped up in sixth place with $6.5 million.

New life for song called 'viral hit of WWI'

LONDON - Veterans, military families and serving soldiers have taken to the choir stands for a new recording of a hit World War I marching song to mark 100 years since the start of the conflict.

A British military charity has recorded a new video of "Pack Up Your Troubles," a popular music-hall style tune used to boost morale among troops and on the home front a century ago.

Aubrey Powell, the grandson of co-composer George Powell, described the song as "the viral hit of WWI."

Rachel Smith, one of the musical directors involved in the project, said the song's simple melody and lyrics gave it its enduring appeal, and is still relevant today because it "makes us think a little more about what people were going through."

Online: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5KDlRmLHRg

Associated Press