1) No Strings Attached — $20 million
Ivan Reitman’s R-rated rom-com starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher had a fairly healthy opening, despite the fact that a) the genre hasn’t been doing well at the box office lately, b) Portman’s no rom-com queen, and c) conventional wisdom says nobody wants to see Kutcher movies. But all that leaves out one important factor: No Strings Attached is really funny, not to mention relatively smart and well-acted by its leads and strong supporting cast. (And yes, I like Ashton Kutcher, always have, in comedy and drama. Eastern Iowa, represent!)
Read Erika’s full review (she liked it too)
I never got around to reviewing The Green Hornet, so let me throw my two cents in now: It’s also surprisingly enjoyable, thanks to Seth Rogen and Jay Chou’s chemistry, Christoph Waltz, and director Michael Gondry’s mod-pop sensibilities. It’s doing okay at the box office, but even with a $63 million overall tally (plus $37 overseas), it has a ways to go to make back its $120 million budget (racked up over a decade of pre-production and rotating scripts and directors).
3) The Dilemma — $9.7 million
Here’s where Erika and I part ways–she liked The Dilemma… me not so much. So far it’s made back about half its $70 million budget, but it’s also the kind of flick that will no doubt do well on home video in a few months.
4) The King’s Speech — $9 million
Picking up awards-season momentum has certainly helped The King’s Speech at the box office. It continues to expand into more theaters with good word of mouth keeping its weekend tally steady. Plus in addition to Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes wins for Colin Firth, a Producers Guild Awards Best Picture nod is finally giving The Social Network some Academy Awards competition.
5) True Grit — $8 million
I’ve run out of superlatives for this, one of my favorite films of the year, both in praise of its quality and surprising box-office success. Though I certainly haven’t tired of the film itself–I watched it yet again this weekend.
In sixth and seventh place this week were Black Swan and The Fighter–between them and The King’s Speech and True Grit, it’s very heartening and exciting to see a January top ten populated with quality films. Rounding it out were Little Fockers, Yogi Bear, and TRON: Legacy.
Friday brings the exorcism thriller The Rite with Anthony Hopkins and The Mechanic starring Jason Statham. The PG-13-rated Rite will easily take possession of the top spot, with the R-rated rom-com No Strings and the R-rated action flick Mechanic battling it out for second. Anyone care to disagree?