By Mack Chico
A so-so movie makes it mark at the box office. “No Strings Attached,” a romantic comedy about friends-with-benefits starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher opened to a solid $20.3 million, according to studio estimates, to win the weekend; 70 percent of attendees were women, exit polling showed. It was the only new picture to open nationwide, continuing what has been a slow January at the box office.
“No Strings Attached” is the first mainstream romantic comedy starring Portman, who also executive produced, and marked a healthy start in the genre. It was the highest opening for the actress outside of the “Star Wars” pictures and comic book adaptation “V for Vendetta.”
For Kutcher, it was a virtual tie for the best openings of movies he has starred in, alongside the romantic comedies “Guess Who” and “What Happens in Vegas.”
“The King’s Speech,” which came in fourth place, demonstrated that it continued to be the hot indie drama of the moment as ticket sales didn’t decline at all from the previous weekend, repeating at $9.2 million, a sign of extraordinary word-of-mouth. Even accounting for the 137 new theaters the Weinstein Co. added to the run of the historical drama, ticket sales at existing locations were down only 9 percent. Its domestic box-office total is now a strong $58.6 million.
Here’s the top 10 at the box office this week:
1. No Strings Attached: Weekend $20.3M
2. The Green Hornet 3D: Weekend $18.1M (-31%), Cume $63.4M
3. The Dilemma: Weekend $9.9M (-33%), Cume $33.5M
4. The King’s Speech: Weekend $9.1M, Cume $58.6M
5. True Grit: Weekend $7.9M, Cume $138.5M
6. Black Swan: Weekend $6.2M, Cume $83.5M
7. Little Fockers: Estimated Weekend $4M, Estimated Cume $140.8M
8. The Fighter: Estimated Weekend $4M, Estimated Cume $72.5M
9. Tron: The Legacy 3D: Estimated Weekend $3.5M, Estimated Cume $163M
10. Yogi Bear 3D: Estimated Weekend $3.5M, Estimated Cume $88.3M