August 1, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: "The Smurfs" Get Narrowly Lassoed In by "Cowboys" at Box Office

Cowboys & Aliens edges out The Smurfs in a tight Box Office race.
Hot off the press: Cowboys & Aliens officially beat The Smurfs by the narrowest of margins (36.4 million versus $35.6 million) after both movies squared off with estimates of $36.2 million apiece over the weekend in one of the closest box office race in recent memory.

Although Cowboys & Aliens was the clear favorite to top the box office in the pre-weekend tracking (with Universal predicting a debut close to $45 million), Smurfs led on Friday with a $13.40 million opening against Cowboys & Aliens’ $12.99 million; but the sci-fi flick rose to the top on Saturday with $13.07 million, versus the blue creatures’ $12.70 million. The Smurfs was directed by animated critter expert Raja Gosnell (Scooby Doo, Beverly Hills Chihuahua) and only cost $110 million to produce against Cowboys & Aliens’ $163 million. So, Jon Favreau’s flick will need serious staying power in the top ten to counteract a disappointing opening weekend gross. Unsurprisingly, Sony’s 3D CGI/live-action hybrid proved especially popular with parents (40%) and their children under 12 years old (25%).

Although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 dropped two spots to rank four with a 53.8% drop, the movie crossed the $300 million mark on Friday, and the $1 billion mark worldwide in 19 days.

Down two spots with a 61,7% drop, Captain America: The First Avenger still manages to gross an estimated $24.9 million, and although it is holding better than Green Lantern (now at the 26th spot with $166,000), the superhero flick lost its gross-to-date lead over fellow Avenger, Thor with $116.8 million in ten days against Thor's $119.5 million.

Rounding off the top five, Steve Carell’s romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love earned an estimated $19.3 million on around 3,300 screens at 3,020 locations, performing better than Larry Crowne, in a similar genre earlier this month. Ryan Gosling’s performance as the womanizing Jacob must have helped connect to the right target audience as Warner Bros. reported the movie's audience was 64% female with 70% over the age of 25

Next weekend CGI apes invade San Francisco in James Franco’s Sci-Fi vehicle Rise of the Planet of the Apes (a new take on the iconic, long-running franchise); polar opposites Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman switch lives and identities in The Change-Up; and two friends run amok in California with their homemade weapons of mass destruction in the heavily Mad Max influenced Bellflower.

Box Office Top Ten (July 29 - July 31): 
  1. Cowboys & Aliens (MRQE Metric: 53) -- $36.4 million
  2. The Smurfs (MRQE Metric: 84) -- $35.6 million
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger (MRQE Metric: 67) -- $24.9 million
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (MRQE Metric: 85) -- $21.9 million
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love (MRQE Metric: 69) -- $19.3 million
  6. Friends with Benefits (MRQE Metric: 61) -- $9.3 million
  7. Horrible Bosses (MRQE Metric: 64) -- $7.1 million
  8. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (MRQE Metric: 73) --$5.9 million
  9. Zookeeper (MRQE Metric: 35) -- $4.2 million
  10. Cars 2 (MRQE Metric: 57) -- $2.3 million

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