Must Read Money Stories For Monday, Oct. 12

by October 12, 2015

MRMSFall’s first movie bomb. We recently previewed the big fall movies, and now fall has its first bomb: “Pan,” which stars Hugh Jackman. It earned only $15.5 million in its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, although it cost $150 million to produce. “The Martian,” which enjoyed the cooperation of NASA, had a second strong week, and has already earned $108 million. Box Office Mojo says “Steve Jobs,” playing in just four New York and Los Angeles theaters, shows early signs of being a hit.

Gas prices plateau. The price of unleaded gasoline, which fell steadily through the summer, has plateaued, according to the latest Lundberg survey. Regular gasoline fell just one cent to $2.34 per gallon on Oct. 9, from $2.35 on Sept. 25, when the previous survey was taken. The price had tumbled 52 cents since June 12 over 17 weeks. But, unleaded gasoline is still down 91 1/2 cents a gallon from a year ago.

Super donors. The New York Times reports that just 158 families have given half the early money for the 2016 presidential campaign. “They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters,” the Times says, and most made their fortunes in just two fields: energy and finance. Their contributions thus far total $176 million.

High style in London. FT Magazine profiles Alan Yau, the Hong Kong born restaurateur who created Wagamama. That’s the fast casual noodle chain known for bench seating and relatively healthy food. Yau’s next London venture, Park Chinois, will go way upscale, a reflection of the luxury culture that’s taking over major global cities. It will seat 300 people, with room for 50 around two bars. The restaurant/club continues Yau’s efforts to combine Asian and European cultures, according to the FT Magazine.