''The Butterfly Effect'' topped the box office as expected, but ''Along Came Polly'' was only a few flutters behind.
''Butterfly,'' a supernatural thriller starring it-boy Ashton Kutcher, premiered with a strong $17.1 million despite its low-key January release date and mostly negative reviews. For its audience, the main draws were Kutcher and the film's edgy genre.
But Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston were close on Ashton's heels as ''Along Came Polly'' grossed $16.6 million in its second weekend, a 40 percent drop from its debut last week. After 10 days, the silly romance has earned $53.5 million.
Kutcher's ''That '70s Show'' castmate Topher Grace claimed third place with ''Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!,'' which premiered with $7.5 million. Apparently the candy-colored romantic comedy wasn't successful in bringing in guys, who flocked instead to the darker ''Butterfly.''
Tim Burton's drama ''Big Fish'' slipped 29 percent to fourth place, grossing $7.3 million, bringing its total to $49.1 million. And rounding out the top five was ''The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,'' dropping 33 percent to $6.9 million. ''King'' is now the No. 9 top domestic grosser of all time, with $337.9 million. In a matter of days it will surely surpass 2003's top grosser, ''Finding Nemo'' ($339.7 million) and the most successful ''Rings'' film, ''The Two Towers'' ($347.8 million). Meaning that ''The King'' will in fact live up to its name.