No Strings Attached Rides Natalie Portman to Friday Box Office Win

Whatever criticism Natalie Portman received for The Phantom Menace has vanished into the rearview mirror. Shortly after becoming engaged and announcing she’s pregnant, Portman picked up the Best Actress in a Drama Golden Globe award for her performance in Black Swan. Next up is the Oscars where she enters the awards gala the favorite to walk away with a statue.

Portman’s run of good fortune continued on Friday as her new R-rated romantic comedy No Strings Attached took the top spot at the box office its opening day. With the aid of co-star Ashton Kutcher, Portman and No Strings Attached drew an estimated $7.3 million in ticket sales on Friday. It’s on pace to finish the weekend somewhere around $20 million which would be the best opening picture for Portman since working alongside Hugo Weaving in V for Vendetta .

Last weekend’s champ The Green Hornet slid into second place on Friday with $5.1 million. It should top off around $17 through Sunday marking a roughly 50% drop since opening last weekend.

Slipping a little less was The Dilemma with around $3 million on Friday and a forecast of between $9 and $10 million through the weekend.

The complete weekend box office results will be published Sunday afternoon.

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