Ashton Crowned King of Box Office

10/02/2006 at 08:35 AM EDT

Ashton Crowned King of Box Office
Ashton Kutcher
Ron Galella/WireImage
Any question about Ashton Kutcher's star power can be put to rest now that the weekend results are in for a pair of his new movies – which claimed the top two spots on the box office chart.

Partnered with Martin Lawrence as the voices of a cartoon bear and deer, respectively, Kutcher was No. 1 thanks to the animated comedy Open Season, which earned an estimated $23 million, reports the Associated Press.

Kutcher also fared well opposite Kevin Costner in the live action The Guardian, in which the pair play Coast Guard rescue swimmers. The action drama opened with $17.7 million and came in second, according to studio estimates.

The healthy showing at the box office is being viewed as the cure for Hollywood's September lull at the ticket window – boosting the box office of the top 12 movies by 13 percent compared to the same weekend last year.

"It sort of broke the little mini-fall slump we were in," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, tells AP.

Still, Kutcher should be careful about popping too many bottles of champagne just yet. When Over the Edge, another animated feature about a merry band of animals, debuted last May, its opening weekend take was a far more robust $38.5 million, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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