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'The Avengers' maintains grip on No. 1, tops $1 billion

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "The Avengers" is taking a page out of Superman's comic book -- flying faster than a speeding bullet to the billion-dollar mark at the box office.

The superhero blockbuster took in $103.2 million to lead for a second-straight weekend, raising its domestic total to $373.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

With $95.4 million more overseas, "The Avengers" lifted its international receipts to $628.9 million and a worldwide haul of just over $1 billion, only 19 days after it began rolling out in some markets.

Already the year's biggest hit worldwide, "The Avengers" is on the verge of passing "The Hunger Games" at $386.9 million to become the top-grossing film domestically for 2012.

Revenue for "The Avengers" was off just 50 percent from the film's domestic debut of $207.4 million the previous weekend, a remarkable hold given how big it started.

"The Avengers" again provided the bulk of Hollywood's business. Overall domestic revenues totaled $172 million, up 23 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Thor" led with $34.7 million, according to box-office tracker

Domestic receipts for the year are at $3.83 billion, 17.6 percent ahead of last year's with a huge summer lineup yet to come. analyst Paul Dergarabedian said he expects Hollywood to break the summer revenue record of $4.4 billion it set last year and top its all-time annual high of $10.6 billion from 2009.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to (Where available, latest international numbers are also included.) 1. "The Avengers," $103.2 million (95.4 million international).

2. "Dark Shadows," $28.8 million.

3. "Think Like a Man," $6.3 million.

4. "The Hunger Games," $4.4 million.

5. "The Lucky One," $4.1 million.

6. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," $3.2 million.

7. "The Five-Year Engagement," $3.1 million ($1.7 million international).

8. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," $2.7 million.

9. "Chimpanzee," $1.6 million.

10. "Girl in Progress," $1.4 million.


Avon considers Coty offer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Avon says it's considering a sweetened buyout offer of almost $10.7 billion from Coty Inc.

Avon says that it expects to respond to the new offer within a week. The offer was made in a letter Wednesday.

Coty sweetened its 2-month-old offer by about 6.5 percent to $24.75 per share and demanded a response from Avon by Monday.

Coty indicated that Avon has said it wouldn't review any bid until its new CEO, Sherilyn McCoy, finishes reviewing all of Avon's operations.

Coty's financing sources include Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., German holding company Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH, which controls Coty, and BOT Capital Partners.

Buffett is chairman of The Buffalo News.


CEO to leave Infineon

BERLIN (AP) -- German semiconductor maker Infineon says its chief executive, Peter Bauer, will step down Sept. 30 for health reasons.

Infineon Technologies AG said Sunday that Bauer, 51, has osteoporosis and has suffered several vertebral fractures over recent years. It said he decided to step down after his condition "significantly worsened" recently.

Infineon said Bauer will be succeeded by management board member Reinhard Ploss, who is responsible for production, development, technology and human resources.


Business this week

These are the major business and economic events scheduled this week:

Tuesday -- The Consumer Price Index -- which measures inflation -- comes out, with analysts predicting no change in April, in contrast to a 0.3 percent increase in the previous month. The retail sales report for April is expected to show sales inching up by a mere 0.2 percent.

Wednesday -- A report on housing starts for April is expected to show a slight rise to 685,000.

Thursday -- Analysts expect jobless claims to tick down to 365,000, versus 367,000 the previous week.