Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Report: 'No Strings' Ties Up Top Spot

by Brandon Gray for Box Office Mojo
January 23, 2011

Listlessness pervaded the box office again. The sole major new release, No Strings Attached, was on top with a decent showing, and it was business as usual for the holdovers. Overall weekend box office was down around 26 percent from the same period last year, when Avatar led again, and it could end up being the least-attended post-Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend since 1992 (final numbers will be reported Monday afternoon).

No Strings Attached attracted an estimated $20.3 million on approximately 3,500 screens at 3,018 locations. That was in the same range as Ashton Kutcher's What Happens in Vegas ($20.2 million) and higher than Just Married ($17.5 million), though both of those pictures had greater attendance. Top-billed Natalie Portman doesn't have directly comparable titles in her credits, though No Strings delivered her second-highest grossing opening in an above-the-title lead role, following V for Vendetta. Distributor Paramount Pictures' exit polling indicated that 70 percent of the audience was female and 60 percent was age 25 years and older.

In second, The Green Hornet pulled in an estimated $18.1 million, off a relatively solid 46 percent from last weekend. The Seth Rogen vehicle held better than Kick-Ass and, with a $63.4 million sum in ten days, surpassed Kick-Ass's final tally to become the top-grossing live-action superhero comedy on record. It also had a smaller decline and higher gross than Pineapple Express at the same point.

The Dilemma continued its mediocre run, dipping 45 percent to an estimated $9.7 million for a $33.4 million tally in ten days, but it had a smaller percentage drop than Couples Retreat. The King's Speech, on the other hand, had the best hold among nationwide releases. It was on par with last weekend, earning an estimated $9.2 million, and its sum grew to $58.6 million in 59 days, surpassing the final gross of The Queen.

True Grit roped an estimated $8 million, slowing 27 percent, and its haul climbed to $138.6 million in 33 days. It gained further ground on Little Fockers, which slipped to an estimated $4.4 million for a $141.2 million total in 33 days.

Portman's other movie, Black Swan, was sixth with an estimated $6.2 million, off 26 percent. It's made $83.6 million in 52 days, more than what No Strings Attached is likely to do in its entire run. Another Oscar hopeful, The Fighter, eased 11 percent to an estimated $4.5 million, increasing its purse to $73 million in 45 days.
The weekend's other technically nationwide release, The Way Back, was a bust with an estimated $1.47 million at 678 locations, earning less than Rescue Dawn did in its expansion to 500 sites.

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