“The Avengers,” from Walt Disney’s Marvel Studios, didn’t just break the record for the best opening weekend in Hollywood history — the film smashed through it Hulk style, grabbing up big green fistfuls of money. The Joss Wheeden-directed movie, riding stellar reviews and a tsunami of Twitter love, piled up $200.3 million at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to an estimate from Disney. That total, which beat the $169.2-million record set during the opening weekend of 2011’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” was turbocharged by pricier IMAX and 3-D tickets. About 52% of those who saw the movie opted to shell out a few extra bucks to watch it in 3-D. IMAX theaters even ran out of seats to sell to moviegoers. The North American box office total added to an already unfolding global success story; playing in 52 international markets, the movie collected $151.5 million this weekend, raising its tally abroad to $441.5 million. That means that after just two weeks in release, “The Avengers” already has sold $641.8-million worth of tickets, jumping past “The Hunger Games” on the ranking of top-grossing 2012 releases worldwide.
World markets faltered Monday after Socialist Francois Hollande defeated president Nicolas Sarkozy, leaving investors worried about the future of austerity throughout Europe. European markets clawed back from deeper losses. France’s CAC 40 was down only 0.2% after earlier sinking 1.4%, while the DAX in Germany dropped 0.6%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was closed for a public holiday.
Flash flooding in northern Afghanistan killed at least 26 people in northern Afghanistan and rescue workers fear the toll may rise, officials said Monday. Eight hours of relentless rainfall that began Sunday led to the flooding in several districts of Sar-e-Pol province, said Faizullah Sadat, provincial director of Afghanistan Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA). More than 100 people are missing, most of them members of a wedding party that was deluged.
Silence and the odd outburst from accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others turned an arraignment that could have lasted minutes into a 13-hour court session at Guantanamo Bay on Saturday. It was the first appearance in a military courtroom for Mohammed and four others since they were charged last month for their alleged role in the planning and execution of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The hearing, which wrapped just before 10:30 p.m., offered a rare glimpse of the five men who have not been seen publicly since 2008 when they were first charged by a military tribunal.
The woman at the center of the U.S. Secret Service prostitution scandal embraced her notoriety and spilled colorful details Friday about alcohol flowing like water and Secret Service agents dancing on a bar. Dania Londono Suarez is the escort who unwittingly sparked investigations that have ensnared roughly two dozen members of the Secret Service and U.S. military over reported use of prostitutes in Colombia in the days before President Barack Obama visited last month. She gave a lengthy, wide-ranging interview to Colombia’s W Radio on Friday.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed off on a bill that will prevent abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds in most cases, her office said. Kansas, North Carolina and Texas have enacted similar legislation, while Indiana, New Jersey and Wisconsin have used their budget processes to bar funding for abortion providers, according to her office. Before Brewer signed the bill into law, the political arm of Planned Parenthood Arizona slammed the measure, which it says will put the health of thousands at risk.
Warren Buffett addressed his prostate cancer diagnosis head on Saturday, dismissing it as a “non-event.” In a letter to shareholders last month, Buffett, 81, disclosed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The announcement sparked discussion about who’ll take over from Buffett one day. Buffett has yet to publicly reveal the succession plan, though he says he has already informed Berkshire’s board about his preferred candidates. Upon his departure, Buffett’s job will be divided between a CEO in charge of operations and one or more executives in charge of investments.
Adam “MCA” Yauch, a founding member of the pioneering rap band the Beastie Boys, has died after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, the band’s publicist said Friday. He was 47. Yauch revealed in July 2009 that he had surgery for cancer in a salivary gland and a lymph node. Yauch’s death comes less than a month after the Beastie Boys were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Because of his fight with cancer, Yauch did not attend, Rolling Stone magazine reported.
New court documents filed by attorneys for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach embroiled in a child sex abuse scandal, suggest that there are at least 17 accusers, a far higher number of alleged victims than the 10 detailed in the charges. In the motion filed Thursday, defense attorney Joe Amendola requested that additional information be disclosed by the court, including details about “all possible accusers who have been identified as Nos. 11 through 17 as well as those whose identification are numbered from 18 and beyond.” The 110-page filing did not identify the alleged accusers and the original 10 were not identified publicly.
Junior Seau’s family will let researchers study the former NFL linebacker’s brain for evidence of trauma, San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said Friday. Since news broke that the former Chargers linebacker killed himself Wednesday with a gunshot to the chest, there has been speculation about whether repeated hits to his head over his 20-year pro career could have been a contributing factor. The family made the decision to allow the research in hopes it will help NFL players and others in the future.
More than 40,000 people were expected to attend the official opening of the Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games in east London on Saturday. Dozens of celebrities also took part in the event, dubbed “2,012 Hours to Go,” which began at 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET). Two of Britain’s most celebrated Olympians, rower Sir Steve Redgrave and swimmer Mark Foster, were among those present to mark the venue’s official opening. The spectators watched the last 90 minutes of an athletics championship for British university students, a test event held at the stadium.
I’ll Have Another cut loose on the home stretch to run down Bodemeister and earn the first Kentucky Derby wins for his rider and trainer Saturday. I’ll Have Another, with a finish of 2:01:83, earned nearly $1.5 million of the $2.2 million purse. That’s quite a payoff for a horse that was purchased last year for the modest sum of $35,000. Jockey Mario Gutierrez, making his Derby debut, called I’ll Have Another a steady competitor.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally found himself in a real fight, complete with a bloody nose and an opponent in Miguel Cotto who never was going to quit. As usual, he found a way to win. Mayweather used his speed and accuracy Saturday night to take a unanimous decision over a game Cotto in a bruising bout to win a piece of the 154-pound title. But it wasn’t easy, as Cotto landed some hard punches and kept attacking all the way to the final bell. Mayweather dominated late, rocking Cotto in the 12th round to pull out a win and remain unbeaten in 43 fights. Unlike most of his fights, though, Mayweather got his nose bloodied and engaged in some bruising exchanges he usually likes to avoid.
Amare Stoudemire raised his hands in the air, one covered in padding, as streamers fell from the ceiling above him. Finally, New York could celebrate an NBA playoff victory again. Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, Stoudemire had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a cut hand, and the Knicks snapped an NBA-record, 13-game postseason losing streak by beating the Miami Heat 89-87 Sunday in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most iconic press conferences in the history of sports, Allen Iverson’s now infamous practice rant, which he delivered after being eliminated from the playoffs in the first round at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The Philadelphia 76ers won a first round playoff series the next year, but soon after the Iverson era came to an end as he was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Philadelphia has only made the playoffs three times since he left, failing to win a series since. The 76ers currently hold a 3-1 series lead over the number one seed Chicago Bulls, after defeating them 89-82 last night in Game 4.