Business Highlights

  • Article by: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 9, 2014 - 4:50 PM

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A summer without swagger for Hollywood

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood's summer at the box office isn't just missing nearly 20 percent of last summer's revenue. It's lacking swagger.

Summer is the season for mega-budget, chest-thumping, globe-trotting monstrosities — films so big they lure droves of Americans with heavily promoted promises of shock and awe. But this season's blockbuster output has been curiously low on the summer's stock in trade: bigness.

Two months into the summer, there haven't been any $300 million grossers at the North American box office. The only movie to surpass $100 million in its weekend debut was "Transformers: Age of Extinction," and it did so by such a small smidge that some box-office watchers claimed it was artificially inflated. The Fourth of July, the customary launching pad for some of Hollywood's flashiest fireworks, was the worst July 4th weekend in at least a decade.

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Theme park CEO says job is about making memories

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Standing in the shadows of a $30 million roller coaster that flips, drops and spins its riders, the head of the nation's fourth-biggest amusement park company points to another addition at Cedar Point he's proud of too — a shady spot to relax and munch on taffy and fudge.

It's not the most exciting part of the park along Lake Erie that boasts 17 roller coasters, but he thinks these little extras will keep families coming back.

Matt Ouimet has spent his first two years as chief executive of Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. making sure that the chain's 11 amusement parks across the country have plenty of attractions for all ages.

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Oil on 2-week slide even with Mideast turmoil

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell for the ninth straight day Wednesday as global supplies continue to flow despite unrest in the world's most important oil-producing region.

The prolonged drop could lead to lower gasoline prices for U.S. drivers in the weeks ahead.

In the Middle East, the insurgency in Iraq is far from resolved, but hasn't halted oil exports. The fighting now seems unlikely to spread to Iraq's major oil fields. Tensions between Israel and Hamas have escalated in the past week, but aren't threatening any major oil production.

On the supply side, Libyan crude exports appear poised to surge after an agreement between the government and local militias cleared the way for export terminals to open. And U.S. production continues to soar.

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