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Pixar rides 'Cars 2' to top of weekend box-office sales

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pixar Animation remains undefeated at the box-office races.

The Disney unit's animated sequel "Cars 2" cruised to a No. 1 finish with a $68 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That makes 12 wins in a row for Pixar since the company's first feature film, 1995's "Toy Story."

"Cars 2" added $42.9 million in 18 overseas markets, giving it a worldwide total of $110.9 million.

Premiering in second place was Cameron Diaz's classroom comedy "Bad Teacher" with $31 million. The Sony Pictures release added $12.9 million overseas in about 10 countries.

The previous weekend's No. 1 flick, Ryan Reynolds' "Green Lantern," fell to third-place with $18.4 million. That was off a steep 65 percent from its revenues over opening weekend.

While the G-rated "Cars 2" cornered the family market, "Bad Teacher" was the weekend's grown-up choice.

While women accounted for 63 percent of the audience for "Bad Teacher," Sony executives hope word-of-mouth over Diaz's brazen performance will draw more men to see it in the coming weeks.

Overall domestic revenues totaled $176 million, up 6.7 percent from the same period last year, when "Toy Story 3" remained No. 1 in its second weekend with $59.3 million, according to box-office tracker

For the year, revenues are down 7.6 percent compared with 2010, though a strong summer has helped Hollywood erase most of a big downturn in business from the sluggish winter and spring.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday:

1. "Cars 2," $68 million ($42.9 million international).

2. "Bad Teacher," $31 million ($12.9 million international).

3. "Green Lantern," $18.4 million.

4. "Super 8," $12.1 million ($10.5 million international).

5. "Mr. Popper's Penguins," $10.3 million.

6. "X-Men: First Class," $6.6 million.

7. "The Hangover Part II," $5.9 million.

8. "Bridesmaids," $5.4 million ($11.5 million international).

9. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," $4.7 million ($13.5 million international).

10. "Midnight in Paris," $4.5 million.


Central banks wary

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) -- Investors should prepare themselves for smaller profit margins as banks stash away more capital to avoid another global financial crisis, the world's major central bankers cautioned Sunday.

They also advised central banks around the world that interest rates might need to rise soon to bring inflation under control.

The Bank for International Settlements said new rules for banks to gradually increase their capital cushions would likely result in more predictable and smaller returns.

But the bank, an umbrella organization for the world's major central banks, also said in its annual report that rates might have to be raised because "tighter global monetary policy is needed in order to contain inflation pressures and ward off financial stability risks."


Warning to Greece

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's finance minister warned Sunday that Greece will not receive its next tranche of international aid unless its parliament passes a new austerity package Wednesday.

At the same time, Wolfgang Schaeuble said he was "confident" that a majority of Greek lawmakers would pass the next raft of spending cuts and tax hikes and called on the opposition to support the government in Athens.

"It would be nice to see the opposition in Greece support the government, as we saw in Portugal and Ireland," Schaeuble said in comments to the Bild am Sonntag weekly.

Greek lawmakers will vote Wednesday on a $39.8 billion midterm austerity plan and an implementation law Thursday.