It's a good week to be Natalie Portman or Jeff Bridges. Both stars have two movies in the top 10 at the box office this weekend. The edge, however, goes to Portman, who had the only new wide release movie this week, 'No Strings Attached,' which debuted atop the box office chart.
The Portman-Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy earned an estimated $20.3 million, in line with predictions and well on the way to topping the modest $25 million the movie reportedly cost to make. Credit the absence of other new releases, better-than-expected reviews, a relative dearth at the multiplex of movies targeted at women (who made up a reported 70 percent of the 'No Strings' audience), and Portman's high-profile Golden Globe win for 'Black Swan' earlier in the week. In fact, 'Black Swan' (holding strong in sixth place this weekend) may have paved the way for the success of 'No Strings'; would you really buy Portman as a sexually assertive friend-with-benefits if you hadn't seen her go to town with Mila Kunis in the ballet drama?