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‘Strings’ woos, wins box office

Natalie Portman, already riding high during awards season with “Black Swan,” took the No. 1 spot at the North American box office yesterday for the first time in five years with her romantic comedy debut.

Natalie Portman, already riding high during awards season with “Black Swan,” took the No. 1 spot at the North American box office yesterday for the first time in five years with her romantic comedy debut.

“No Strings Attached,” in which she co-stars with Ashton Kutcher, sold about $20.3 million worth of tickets during the three days beginning Jan. 21, distributor Paramount Pictures said.

The film was directed by “Ghostbusters” vet Ivan Reitman, who has not had a big hit since “Six Days, Seven Nights” in 1998. Kutcher’s last big movie was “What Happens in Vegas” in 2008. Portman last led the box office in March 2006 when “V For Vendetta” grossed $26 million during its first weekend.

Last weekend’s champion, Columbia Pictures’ 3-D comic-book adaptation “The Green Hornet,” slipped to No. 2 with $18.1 million. “The Dilemma,” starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, was also down one to No. 3, with $9.7 million in its second weekend.

 
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