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'Rio' animates movie fans to make it box-office leader

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Movie fans are going to "Rio" in big numbers, but they're not quite screaming over the latest installment of a horror-comedy franchise.

The 20th Century Fox animated family flick "Rio," featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg, led the weekend box office with a healthy $40 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

It was the best debut so far this year, topping another animated comedy, "Rango," by about $2 million.

The slasher comedy "Scream 4," released by the Weinstein Co. banner Dimension Films, opened at No. 2 with just $19.3 million. That's a fraction of the business for the previous two sequels, which both debuted at over $30 million more than a decade ago.

Business finally climbed for Hollywood, which has been in a prolonged slide. Revenues rose for only the second time since last November, coming in at $134 million, up 12 percent compared to the same weekend last year, when the leader earned $19.8 million.

The weekend's other new wider release, director Robert Redford's Lincoln-assassination drama "The Conspirator," premiered at No. 9 with $3.9 million. The movie stars Robin Wright and James McAvoy in a courtroom tale of a woman accused of aiding Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Rio," $40 million.

2. "Scream 4," $19.3 million.

3. "Hop," $11.2 million.

4. "Soul Surfer," $7.4 million.

5. "Hanna," $7.3 million.

6. "Arthur," $6.94 million.

7. "Insidious," $6.9 million.

8. "Source Code," $6.3 million.

9. "The Conspirator," $3.92 million.

10. "Your Highness," $3.9 million.


Greek default rejected

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's finance minister says a call by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis that the country would be better off defaulting on part of its debt would create more problems than it would solve.

Speaking to state NET television from Washington, where he is attending meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, George Papaconstantinou said that talk of debt restructuring "does not help the country."

Simitis, Greece's Socialist premier from 1996 to 2004, said in an interview with Sunday newspaper To Vima that a protracted austerity program would not guarantee that Greece would repay its massive debt and called for a negotiated restructuring that would allow the country to rebuild its economy over the next 15 to 20 years.


BlackBerry faces limits

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The maker of BlackBerry devices says it has been told that any new restrictions imposed by Emirati authorities would apply to other smart phones too.

The regulator has said it may limit access to the highly secure BlackBerry Enterprise Server, a system used by many international companies. Individual customers and organizations with fewer than 20 users wouldn't have access.

Device maker Research in Motion said in an e-mailed statement Sunday that it has been in direct contact with the United Arab Emirates' telecommunications regulator. It says it's been told any policy change would apply to the whole industry and affect "all enterprise solution providers" -- a reference to phones tied to corporate e-mail accounts.


China to increase reserve

BEIJING (AP) -- China's central bank Sunday ordered most of the country's banks to raise the amount of money they hold in reserve in yet another move by Beijing to tamp down inflationary pressures.

The People's Bank of China said in a notice on its website that the deposit reserve requirement ratio for most banks will be raised 0.5 percent, starting Thursday. That means large financial institutions will have to keep 20.5 percent of their deposits in reserve.

This is China's fourth reserve increase this year. Inflation in the world's second largest economy surged to a 32-month high of 5.4 percent in March.

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