Box Office Barometer 1-24-10
Every Monday, Contested looks at the weekend’s box office to determine whether moviegoers are watching the better movies (Intelligent), succumbing to the studios’ deceptive marketing (Brainwashed), or thoroughly enjoying garbage programming (Armond White).
No Strings Attached debuted at #1 with a $20.3 million haul, which is impressive considering its R-rating and the recent romcom slump. However for audiences, it seems like they just want to see Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman bumping uglies. Clearly, they aren’t seeing it for its “innovative” friends-with-benefits storyline, which is being replicated in ever other medium (Movie, TV). Come to think about it, there’s a weird love triangle going on with Portman, Kutcher, and Mila Kunis. Kutcher and Kunis were a couple on That 70s Show, Portman and Kunis hooked up in Black Swan, and now Kunis is in the “other” No Strings Attached called Friends With Benefits. Hey studios, thanks for recycling!
The rest of the Top 10 is the same from last week. The Green Hornet has a 3D-infused return with $18.1 million, beating out the delightfully underperforming The Dilemma.
The Social Network’s newest competitor is The King’s Speech at #4. It was selected by the Producer’s Guild of America as Best Picture, the same Guild which selected the eventual Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker last year. It looks like this year’s race will provide Academy members the opportunity to showcase whether they are hip by choosing The Social Network, or educated and sophisticated by choosing The King’s Speech.
As for the rest of the Top 10, it looks like audiences are supporting the right movies (#5 True Grit, #6 Black Swan, #8 The Fighter), and allowing the cash grabs (#7 Little Fockers, #9 Yogi Bear, and #10 Tron: Legacy) to linger at the bottom. In a time where only Oscar contenders and admittedly bad movies are released, audiences can’t be faulted for flocking to the newbies. This week’s reading is Intelligent.