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  • The superhero contest – at least at the box office – continues to up the ante with new installments of comic-book adaptations for the big screen, as well as adding new franchises to the mix. In the past year, moviegoers saw “Thor,” “Captain America,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “The Green Hornet” and “Green Lantern” hit theaters. The sequels “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and “X-Men: First Class” expanded their respective franchises – and their box-office gross receipts.With several more sequels pla

    Following are the top 10 comic book movie franchises of all time, with data compiled by BoxOfficeMojo.com.

  • How much can you get for $1 million in today’s real estate market? The answer, of course, varies depending on where you’re looking to buy. In the wake of the U.S. housing crisis, consumer confidence and home values fell sharply, while prices in some cities are less than half of what they were in 2007. In many local markets, however, such as in New York, San Francisco, Anchorage, Alaska, and Omaha, Neb., people on the front lines are optimistic about a recovery in sales volumes, prices and buyer

    CNBC.com surveyed real estate agents in 18 U.S. cities to gain individual perspectives on the health of America’s local real estate markets. Check out the list!

  • Technically, the recession is over, and on paper, there has been positive job growth for months. Unfortunately, “technically” and “on paper” don’t cut it for people who have been out of work for a long time. For the long-term unemployed, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box and looking for work that falls outside of the parameters of the everyday.What follows is a list of jobs that are obscure, unheard-of or otherwise out of the ordinary. Some of them pay well, some have salaries that

    For the long-term unemployed, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box and looking for jobs that are obscure, unheard-of or otherwise out of the ordinary.

  • For decades, entrepreneurs have followed a traditional stair-step of financing methods to vault their companies through successive stages of growth. Starting with personal savings, they would often then raise seed money from personal contacts, move on to banks, angel investors and/or venture capitalists. Eventually, a successful start up would offer shares to investors and become a publicly traded company.But openings onto that well-trodden path are narrowing. Banks and venture firms are less li

    There are many different routes a potential business owner can take when financing a startup.Click ahead to see what the various forms of funding are.

  • Greece is back on top of the international economic and political agenda after a brief respite as the country is forced to call a repeat election after a May 6 vote left parliament divided evenly between groups of parties that support and oppose austerity conditions attached to a 130 billion euro ($163 billion) rescue agreed with lenders in March.The latest opinion polls in Greece suggest anti-bailout leftist party Syriza has taken the lead ahead of a vote that is widely viewed as a referendum o

    Greece is back on top of the international economic and political agenda after a brief respite. Check out a guide to the key players in the coming election and Greek political crisis.

  • In 1968, pop artist Andy Warhol said: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Unlike most of his art, the saying found a foothold in pop culture, and to this day it’s commonly used to describe the here-today-gone-tomorrow status of many celebrities.Like reality show stars and pop singers, professional athletes are celebrities, too, and for every Michael Jordan who parlays his athletic stardom into successful business ventures, there are dozens of others who burst into the

    For every Michael Jordan, there are dozens who have just a brief moment in the sun. Read ahead to see athletes who faded away after their 15 minutes of fame.

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    The massive financing needs of China's two biggest trading partners — the U.S. and Europe — could leave Beijing spoiled for choice as it plans to spend $560 billion in foreign investments over the next five years.

  • Some homeowners prefer a subdued white modern look, and others go for wood, stone, or other rustic materials. But some brave souls who prefer to live the rainbow dress up their homes in bold shades. Many of these brightly hued abodes are in seaside areas that are already long on color with the abundance of flowers and the gem-toned oceans. Do vibrant homes occur more in such places? If this collection is any indication, then yes. We do feature one home in the U.K., but it’s nearly the same color

    Presented in approximate “ROY G. BIV” order (how they would appear on the spectrum), are nine colorful homes (with a few pastels).

  • Most cities that bring together vast and diverse populations, whilst being places of great inspiration, commerce and community, also contain danger. While it is fair to say that no city, where humans interact freely, is completely spared from violence, disease and criminal activity some are clearly more affected than others.Danger is hard to quantify, as one person’s nuisance may be another person’s nightmare, but Mercer’s global report on personal safety aims to rank cities by their safety leve

    Although no city is  free of violence, disease and crime, some are clearly more affected than others.

  • When Dress For Success came out in 1975, it set rigid rules for executive attire: The “proper” colors for a suit were blue, gray and beige; the most “authoritative” suit was a dark pinstripe; and the “most acceptable” dress shirt was white or solid colors. (No dresses here; The Women’s Dress For Success Book didn’t come out until 1977.)Today, there are no rules, other than being put-together from head to toe, no detail spared. The proper colors are ones that work with your coloring, the most aut

    These days there are no dress-for-success rules, other than being put-together from head to toe, no detail spared. Here are the CEOs who have it down pat.

  • Writers are known much more for our ways with words than for our abilities to put impressive roofs over our heads. Of course, there are many exceptions, and their names can be found on the bestseller lists.  One notable writer’s home came to the spotlight earlier this year when Truman Capote’s former townhouse, originally listed for $18 million,  for $12 million to Dan Houser, creator of "Grand Theft Auto". The 11-bedroom, seven-bath house is the most expensive single-family home ever sold in Br

    Writers are known much more for their way with words than for their ability to put impressive roofs over their heads. Of course, there are many exceptions. Check out who they are!

  • Every so often, a movie or television show depicts a character in an outfit that becomes iconic. It probably isn’t the intention of most filmmakers to inspire fashion revolutions with their movies, but the makers of “Flashdance” probably didn’t mind when America’s teenage girls started blowing their entire allowances on legwarmers.Not every movie or television show can achieve such a feat on that kind of scale, but many try, with varying degrees of success. What follows is a list of those that m

    What follows is a list of those that made an article of clothing famous, made characters famous for fashion sense, or managed some combination of the two.

  • Facebook now boasts more than 750 million users, but its investors make up a much more exclusive group. With Facebook likely to go public in late 2012 at a valuation north of $100 billion, these early investors stand to cash in on the social network's success. In the slides that follow, meet the angels, venture capitalists, and global investors who have made big bets on Facebook.

    Click to see who Facebook’s investors were pre-IPO, and how much of a stake they have in the company.

  • When it’s not a seller’s market, it could be a bright side for buyers. So where are the markets with the most bargains for home buyers on a budget? To find out, the data team at the real estate website Zillow looked at several factors, including the percentage of listings with price cuts, the median amount of those price cuts, the sale-to-list price ratio (or how much lower the sale price was from the last list price), and at foreclosure resales in places where foreclosure data was available (al

    When it’s not a seller’s market, it could be a bright side for buyers. So where are the markets with the most bargains for home buyers on a budget?

  • The market for equities has gone through numerous crises, bubbles, ups and downs since the turn of the century, but when an initial public offering (IPO) hits the market, it creates a lot of excitement for investors, and generates billions of dollars for the company involved. Market conditions can be a major factor in determining when companies decide to file, and market optimism or pessimism can influence the value of shares, often to the detriment of the company or the investor. In 2000, compa

    With the hotly anticipated Facebook public listing in mind, the CNBC Analytics team looked into IPOs from 2000 to the present to see which ones have been the most and least successful.

  • The escalating price of buyouts and the valuations of recent IPOs have plenty of people worried we're in – or approaching – another tech bubble. Experts are divided on how accurate those fears are, but there's no denying the implosion that occurred right before the turn of the last century. The first tech bubble saw ridiculous levels of spending – from both executives and venture capitalists – and it was only a matter of time before investors hopped on that bandwagon. A lot of those shareholders

    The escalating price of buyouts and the valuations of recent IPOs have plenty of people worried about another potential tech bubble.

  • The word “like” has taken a whole new meaning in the age of social media, with Facebook’s ubiquitous “like” functionality allowing users to quickly share content across the social network. When users click a button to show they “like” a Facebook page, they are effectively signing up for continued interactions with that page and the entity behind it. Corporations have increasingly made social media connectivity an important aspect of their marketing campaigns, allowing them to communicate with th

    Corporations have made social media connectivity an important aspect of their marketing campaigns, allowing them to communicate with their customers, develop their brand, and even offer special promotions.

  • The career of a professional athlete on the field doesn’t last forever. The shrewd ones know that, and for those who want their money to work for them beyond age 40, having a solid plan B is of paramount importance. So they start thinking about ways to invest their money wisely to make it last a lifetime.Often, athletes will put their money back into sports. After hanging up his jersey, Michael Jordan invested his money in the Charlotte Bobcats basketball team, and although LeBron James is still

    By now, most people have gotten the memo that there’s money to be made in technology, including professional athletes. Check out the athletes who have chosen the tech sector as their next arena of competition.

  • Rare and beautiful, exotic animals have spurred an illegal trade worth more than $10 billion worldwide, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. Live animals fuel an illegal pet trade, while products made from exotic animals, such as medicines and ivory carvings, can fetch large sums in the underground market. Given the possibility of enormous profits, smugglers use inventive methods to get live animals and their products inside U.S. borders. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service battles t

    From air, land and sea, these 12 examples show the risks smugglers will take in the hunt for large profits.

  • Thirty years ago, clothing existed in two worlds. One of fashion, where opulent designers like Christian Lacroix created crinoline-filled ball gowns covered in ornate tapestries. And one of retail, where practical garments were sold at affordable prices for reasonable people.Then the ‘90s happened, and fashion became more than a playground for those who could afford couture gowns. French luxury conglomerate LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and PPR (which owns Gucci, Balenciaga, Stella McCartne

    Today, fashion is a $500 billion-plus industry, with the potential to make a lot more: particularly in emerging Asian markets. See who is currently setting the trends...and cutting the deals.

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