'Madagascar 3' trounces stars at weekend box office
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Zoo animals remain hot at the box office. Singing stars and Adam Sandler are not.
Ben Stiller and his voice co-stars of "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" held on to the No. 1 spot again, with $35.5 million for the animated sequel's second weekend in domestic theaters.
Studio estimates Sunday put Ridley Scott's sci-fi adventure "Prometheus" at No. 2 again with $20.2 million.
The star-studded musical "Rock of Ages," whose cast includes Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Alec Baldwin, flopped at No. 3 with $15.1 million.
And Sandler's "That's My Boy" bombed with $13 million, the worst showing for one of his broad comedies since the mid-1990s
"It doesn't always follow that big stars bring in the big bucks," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. " 'Madagascar' and 'Prometheus' tell you that it's about the concept more than the stars."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com: (Where available, latest international numbers are also included.)
1. "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," $35.5 million ($53 million international).
2. "Prometheus," $20.2 million ($25.5 million).
3. "Rock of Ages," $15.1 million ($4.1 million).
4. "Snow White & the Huntsman," $13.8 million.
5. "That's My Boy," $13 million.
6. "Men in Black 3," $10 million ($19.7 million).
7. "The Avengers," $8.8 million ($3.9 million).
8. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," $2.2 million.
9. "Moonrise Kingdom," $2.18 million.
10. "What to Expect When You're Expecting," $1.3 million.
Energy credits trial opens
BALTIMORE (AP) -- A Maryland man faces trial in a $9.1 million fraud case that is shedding light on problems in a renewable energy credits program run by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Federal prosecutors say Rodney Hailey, of Perry Hall, sold $9 million in renewable fuel credits even though his company, Clean Green Fuel LLC, did not produce any renewable fuel. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in the case today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
The case is one of several nationwide that have led to calls in Congress for a review of the program. It has also prompted a lawsuit against the EPA by those defrauded by the Maryland company because the federal agency is not recognizing the credits they thought were genuine.
Journalist Dorfman dies
NEW YORK (AP) -- Financial journalist Dan Dorfman, known for moving stock prices in the 1990s with his comments on CNBC, has died.
He was 82. According to the family, he died Saturday in New York of cardiogenic shock, a heart condition.
Dorfman's market comments on the cable financial news channel could propel and sink stocks. He worked there until 1996.
That same year, he was fired as a Money magazine columnist over an ethics controversy involving a stock promoter but was never charged by regulators.
He also wrote for USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine and Esquire.
Dorfman turned to the Internet late in his career, first with a stock research company, JagNotes.com, in 1999. He blogged for the Huffington Post until last year.
'Major' event for Microsoft
NEW YORK (AP) -- Speculation is building that Microsoft will unveil a tablet computer today.
The company was secretive when it invited media to an afternoon event in Los Angeles, saying it would be a "major" announcement and would not divulge the location until this morning.
Several media outlets, including the New York Times, cited unnamed sources saying that Microsoft will launch its own tablet to boost its new Windows 8 operating system and counter Apple's hot-selling iPad.
Microsoft declined to comment.