LOS ANGELES  — Tony Stark piloted to the top of the box office but not the record books.

“Iron Man 2,” the sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. as Marvel’s gadget-happy billionaire superhero, earned $133.6 million domestically on its opening weekend, according to distributor Paramount Pictures’ estimates Sunday. The opening rocketed past the original $98.6 million debut in 2008 and landed the record as the fifth-biggest opening weekend.

“We’re thrilled with the combination of the way it’s playing across the board,” said Don Harris, Paramount’s vice president of distribution. “It’s playing as a fanboy movie, but it’s also playing as family movie, too. I even know a bunch of people who are planning to take their mothers to see ‘Iron Man 2’ on Mother’s Day, which really made me chuckle.”

“Iron Man 2” has taken in $194 million overseas since it debuted in many international markets last week, bringing its worldwide total to over $327 million. While Hollywood blockbusters typically open around the same date in most countries, some get an overseas jump of a week or more on their U.S. debuts.

Sting fundraising for teachers

MEXICO CITY — Schoolteacher-turned-rock star Sting says teacher salaries must be raised to attract society’s best minds into classrooms.

Sting spoke to reporters Saturday in Mexico City before a $550-a-ticket concert.

The show is part of a fundraising “Learning for Life” tour that supports education in developing countries.

Sting, the former leader of the British rock band The Police, said: “One of the most important jobs in the planet is to teach children. Our entire future depends on children being educated.”

Idol says, ‘We’re all friends’

LOS ANGELES – The last “American Idol” contestants left standing say their rivalry is a friendly one.

The singers told a news conference Friday they’ve remained close even as they strive to win.

“We’re all friends,” said Lee Dewyze, 24, of Mount Prospect, Ill. “But as far as the show, at the end of the day, all of us do want to win. That’s why we’re here: We want that No. 1 spot … (but) we want it for ourselves, not because we don’t want anyone else to win.”

No matter the contest’s outcome, said Crystal Bowersox, 24, of Toledo, Ohio, they’re all champs who could end up with hit songs on the radio.

Casey James, 27, of Fort Worth, Texas, agreed, saying, “It’s really a matter of how badly you want to do this and how hard you push yourself.”

There is a sense of competition when song choices are made for their weekly performance, conceded Michael Lynche, 26, of Queens, N.Y.

But when worry sets in about grabbing the best tune, Lynche said, “you realize nobody sings the songs that you sing” or has the same style.

This week, the foursome will be mentored by singer-actor Jamie Foxx and will perform cinema-themed songs.

Snub for spoof of Italy’s leader

ROME – Italy’s culture minister says he’ll boycott this month’s Cannes Film Festival to protest the showing of a movie that spoofs Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his relief efforts for quake survivors.

“Draquila” features popular satirist Sabina Guzzanti, who impersonates Berlusconi in the film.

The government’s efforts to construct housing for thousands of quake homeless in the city of L’Aquila is a point of pride for Berlusconi.

Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said Saturday in a statement that he won’t go because the film, which will be screened out of competition, offends the Italian people.

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