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March 9, 2014 | By David Ng
The bloodthirsty forces of "300: Rise of an Empire" proved victorious at the box office on its opening weekend, easily surpassing the family-friendly animated movie "Mr. Peabody and Sherman. " "Rise of an Empire," a 3-D sequel to the 2007 movie "300," grossed an estimated $45.1 million in ticket sales across the U.S. and Canada to take the No. 1 spot at the box office. The film, based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and directed by Noam Murro, follows the battle between ancient Greek warriors and their Persian foes.
March 8, 2014 | By Chris Barton
The sequel "300: Rise of an Empire" is proving unstoppable at the box office on its opening weekend, earning more than $17 million on Friday, according to estimates. The number adds to an already strong start for the 3-D Greco-Persian epic, which earned $3.3 million in its Thursday night screenings across the U.S. and Canada. The film is expected to earn $45 million this weekend, which would place it well behind the first "300. " That film opened in 2007 with nearly $71 million in sales and eventually took home $456 million worldwide.
March 8, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Playing tough defense, hustling for loose balls and displaying the unselfishness always present in a championship team, Santa Ana Mater Dei won its 31st consecutive game Saturday night, holding off scrappy Chino Hills, 48-44, in the Southern Section Open Division final at the Honda Center. It was a wild fourth quarter, but in the end, Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei rose up and lifted his team to victory. He finished with 28 points and clinched the victory by making two free throws with 4.9 seconds left, giving him eight in a row in the fourth quarter.
March 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before confessing that I invented Bitcoin. The Skinny: My Sunday TV viewing is going to get more complicated. I'm already juggling "The Walking Dead," "Girls," "True Detective" and "The Good Wife. " Now ABC is adding "Resurrection" to the mix. I really liked the pilot and hope the series can deliver. Today's roundup includes the weekend box office preview. Also the FCC is working on new rules for local TV, and Disney makes big cuts at its interactive unit.
March 7, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Ryan Menezes
Sixteen-year-old Monica buried her face in a pillow, trying to rest for school the next day, as the clock ticked past 11 p.m. Sleep was a battle in the tiny apartment. Hunched at the other end of the family's only mattress, two of her brothers played a video game while a third lounged next to her, watching virtual soccer players skitter on screen. Her 2-year-old niece toddled barefoot near the door, toying with a pile of pennies. In all, seven people live in this wedge of space in Historic South-Central, including Monica's mother and the mother of the little girl - the longtime girlfriend of one of her brothers.
March 7, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Much like the brave but ultimately doomed Spartan soldiers of "300," Eva Green might have been up against insurmountable odds in her role as Artemisia in "300: Rise of an Empire," Noam Murro's sequel to Zack Snyder's 2007 hit. Film critics agree that Green's performance as the villainess Artemisia is the best part of the sword-and-sandal spectacle, but they said even she can't save it from mediocrity. The Times' Betsy Sharkey wrote , "The one to watch is Artemisia, and not just because Green gets the best costumes -- leather and chainmail has rarely been as fetching -- but because her character is as tactical a warrior as Themistokles [ Sullivan Stapleton,  the movie's hero]
March 6, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As much performance art as movie, "300: Rise of an Empire" unfolds as beautiful, bloody, slow-motion machismo. Torsos bared, swords flashing, another 300 rock the leather skirts and loincloths with pounding, passionate music perfectly underscoring this latest round of the "beautiful death" the ancient Greeks were so poetic about. Though it is hard to replicate the freshness of the first, "Rise" is almost as visually stunning as 2006's "300," when Gerard Butler as King Leonidas sacrificed Sparta's finest abs in a no-win battle against the Persian god-king Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro)
March 6, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Weather in February was once again a roadblock for retailers, who said sales figures for the month missed already modest expectations. One gauge from Thomson Reuters found that same-store sales rose 1.8% last month, falling short of a projected 2.8% rise at stores open a year or longer. Without the effect of drugstores, retailers turned in a 0.3% sales increase, the worst showing since a 2.4% decrease in August 2009. Analysts had expected a 1.9% boost. Some segments, however, showed surprising health, or at least the promise of it. The clothing sector, not including Gap, beat estimates by swelling 1.3%.
March 6, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 It's not easy joining the party when it comes to breaking into the elite level of high school basketball in Southern California, but that's what Chino Hills (26-4) has done this season in reaching the Southern Section Open Division championship game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against Santa Ana Mater Dei (30-0) at the Honda Center. Fourth-year Coach Steve Baik has already pulled off a surprise. In his last three games, he has picked up coaching victories over three of Southern California's best coaches _ Bishop Montgomery's Doug Mitchell, Etiwanda's Dave Kleckner and Redondo's Reggie Morris Jr. Now he gets to face Gary McKnight, the winningest coach in California history.
March 6, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- While lawmakers begin discussing ways to fix California's cash-strapped teacher pension system, another long-term financial problem continues to fester. The cost of providing healthcare to retired state workers is $64.6 billion more than state leaders have set aside to pay, an increase of $730 million from the previous year. The new numbers, calculated as of last June, were released by state Controller John Chiang on Thursday. “While most are focused on unfunded pension obligations, this is a sleeper problem that can become the next big fiscal threat if we continue to do nothing," he said in a statement.
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