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Sense of normalcy returns to NYC entertainment

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012

Ticket sales for the weekend box office were brisk, even on the East Coast, where many sought escapism in warm theaters. Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph" earned $49 million and Paramount's "Flight," took in $24.9 million — both surpassing expectations.

"If there was a theater that wasn't running, the theater around it was doing almost as much business to completely make up for those that weren't operating," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "It may have taken a little more driving, a little more work, but it seems as though people were willing to make the effort to find the show."

The struggle to work through the storm was difficult for many media outlets, particularly New York Magazine, which had to relocate to a board room in the midtown offices of its parent company, New York Media. Staffers hauled computers from the magazine offices just south of Astor Place so that an improvised newsroom could be set up in order to get this week's issue out on time.

"We're back to our normal offices and never appreciated them more," Editor-in-Chief Adam Moss said Monday. He called the experience of getting the magazine out "both trying and exhilarating."

The National Book Awards ceremony, a highlight of the fall publishing season, is still scheduled for Nov. 14 even though the offices for the awards' organizers, the National Book Foundation, have been closed because of flooding and will not re-open before next week. The hotel where visiting judges were to stay was flooded and guests had to be booked elsewhere, foundation executive director Harold Augenbraum said Monday. But Cipriani Wall Street, where the ceremony is to be held, did not sustain major damage.

Music was again flowing by Saturday night on the Bowery, where the New York native band Jon Spencer Blues Explosion kicked things off at the Bowery Ballroom with a concert that donated a portion of sales to the Red Cross and hurricane relief.

"The Blues Explosion has lived in downtown Manhattan for many years and it means a lot to us to be among the first bands playing after the storm," Spencer said in a statement on the band's website.

The band added that they were "coming to bring their healing power to downtown Manhattan."

"Saturday Night Live," too, resumed with host Louis C.K. In a message to fans Saturday, C.K. said there were considerable challenges in prepping the show during such a week.

"There are kids in the studio every day because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work," he wrote. "Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there's this feeling here that we've got to put on a great show. I'm sure it feels like that here every week. But wow."


AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.


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