'The Social Network' tops weekend box office

A fictionalized account of the founding of the social media site Facebook topped the weekend box office results, bringing in $23 million on the strength of rave reviews and Oscar buzz.

The Social Network opened as the number one film in the country on Friday as expected, perhaps proving that Silicon Valley and social network have finally been embraced by the mainstream. While some tech observers have questioned writer Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher's depiction of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg specifically and startup types in general, the movie's strong showing is proof that Web startups have finally captured America's attention in a way few would have thought possible just a short time ago.

Facebook employees were among those attending Friday's opening; the firm's official line is that the movie is fictional and a sign of Facebook's growing importance in people's lives. But Zuckerberg has said he doesn't plan to see it and a profile of him in the New Yorker last week paints a vastly different (and more sympathetic) portrait of the 26-year-old tabbed the most influential person in today's establishment by Vanity Fair.

The movie's budget was reportedly in the range of $50 million. Distributor Sony is expecting the film to eventually earn roughly $100 million.