No Strings Attached tops box office
Audiences weren't afraid of committing to No Strings Attached, making it the number one movie at the US box office in its opening weekend.
The romantic comedy from Paramount Pictures earned an estimated 20.3 million dollars, according to studio estimates.
Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman star as friends who try to maintain a purely sexual relationship with each other, even as they find they're falling in love. The strong supporting cast includes Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, Lake Bell and Kevin Kline.
Last week's number one movie, Columbia Pictures' action comedy The Green Hornet, dropped to second place with 18.1 million dollars. It has now made 63.4 million in total. Seth Rogen stars as the title playboy-turned-superhero, based on the 1930s radio show, with Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou as his sidekick, Kato.
Much of the success of No Strings Attached could be attributed to the pairing of director Ivan Reitman and Montecito Pictures, which brought the movie in at a budget of just 25 million dollars, said Don Harris, Paramount's executive vice president of distribution.
He thought audiences were drawn to the chemistry between the co-stars: "Natalie Portman couldn't be any hotter, and I think this is the kind of movie Ashton Kutcher had hoped to make and be in during his career. They go well together."
Part of the allure of No Strings Attached also comes from the humour, which Harris said was a little edgier than expected in a romantic comedy.
"This was always intended to be an R," he said. "That's why I think these two were interested in being in the movie."