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Cowboys Get Smurfed

Smurfs outpace Cowboys & Aliens.

By Jarrod Sarafin     July 31, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens can't outpace The Smurfs at the box office
© Universal Pictures/Bob Trate


Move over Captain America, we have a new champion to report this weekend. Wait, make that champions. Yep, the estimates are in and for the first time in a long time, we have a tie atop the domestic box office race. Unless you want to go by expectations, theater counts and average cash per showing. If that’s the case, then consider the nation officially Smurfed.
Going into the weekend, Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens was tracking somewhere in the range of $40-45 million while Sony would have been happy with The Smurfs taking down $25-30 million in receipts. The tides turned after The Smurfs took down the Friday win with an opening day take of $13.4 million and kept in pace with “Cowboys” throughout the weekend.
The little blue creatures finished this weekend with an estimated take of $36.2 million, the very same amount that Cowboys & Aliens have at the moment, though the Sony CGI pic was only in 3,395 theaters. It means the family adventure has a higher average of $10,663 per showing versus the sci-fi western flick which is showing in 3,750 theaters.
Budgeted at only $110 million, The Smurfs took down another $4.4 million in its early foreign markets and has a worldwide tally of $40.6 million after three days of release. As expected its opening weekend performance is attributed to mainly families and younger kids, with moviegoers under the age of 18 giving it an A rating at CinemaScore.
On the opposite of the coin, Universal Pictures’ adaptation of the Cowboys & Aliens comic adventure was tracked to win this weekend with somewhere between $40 and $45 million but found itself tied with $36.2 million as well. As said above, it was released in nearly 400 more theaters in the states and came to the finish line with a lower average of $9,653 per showing as a result. No foreign numbers to give at this point so its $36.2 million is the worldwide tally for a film with a price tag of $163 million. With no explosive foreign campaign planned (a slow rollout across the globe), it will need strong and steady numbers moving forward if the studio hopes to catch that budget. The studio reports that  75% of the audience was over the age of 25, and 39%, over the age of 50.
We’ll know the real winner when the race is declared official tomorrow but going by expectations, it’s The Smurfs all the way for this showdown.
Following in 3rd place is last weekend’s champ, Captain America: The First Avenger. Paramount and Marvel Studio’s feature film version of the best-selling superhero dropped 61% in its second weekend performance, pulling in an estimated $24.9 million in coin. The sophomore gross has increased its domestic cume to $116.7 million after 10 days of release in the states. It’s not a bad number when considering the film cost $140 million to produce. The film’s foreign gross sits currently at $53.5 million so it has a global score of $170.2 million after its first two weekends at the box office.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 is in 4th place, with their final magical adventure conjuring up another $21.9 million on 4,145 theaters across the nation. The latest numbers has pushed this final Potter tale past the $1 billion mark in worldwide numbers after only 3 weekends of release, tying the record for the fastest (17 days) to hit that billion mark. It’s obviously Warner’s top grossing film in worldwide history. Warner Bros. chiefs are just as surprised at how fast it struck the billion mark..
“What’s truly astounding is that these kind of numbers are being achieved so early in the film’s release,” said Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman.
As it stands now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 is the 8th highest worldwide grossing film of all-time though we can expect it to jump to 6th place within a week’s time. Here’s how that list shapes up.
1. Avatar- $2.782 billion
2. Titanic- $1.843 billion
3. LOTR: Return of the King- $1.119 billion
4. POTC: Dead Man’s Chest- $1.066 billion
5. Toy Story 3- $1.063 billion
6. POTC: On Stranger Tides- $1.032 billion
7. Alice in Wonderland- $1.024 billion
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2- $1.008 billion
Tranformers: Dark of the Moon is also expected to hit the billion range by next weekend, meaning we’ll have three billion dollar grossing films for this summer.
And taking up the 5th place spot is another Warner Bros. Pictures release by way of their new romantic comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love. The Steve Carrell-led comedy was introduced into 3,020 theaters this weekend and found $19.3 million as a result.
Check out the rest of the top 10 down below.

The Smurfs
$36.2 mil
$36.2 mil
Cowboys & Aliens
$36.2 mil
$36.2 mil
Captain America: The First Avenger
$24.9 mil
$116.7 mil
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2
$21.9 mil
$318.4 mil
Crazy, Stupid, Love
$19.3 mil
$19.3 mil
Friends with Benefits
$9.3 mil
$38.2 mil
Horrible Bosses
$7.1 mil
$96.2 mil
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
$5.9 mil
$337.8 mil
$4.2 mil
$68.7 mil
Cars 2
$2.3 mil
$182.0 mil

It looks like Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has one more weekend to enjoy the top spot of this summer’s global box office race. It seems very likely we’ll have a new champion atop the below ladder by the closing of next weekend, with Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 hitting the billion mark this weekend and within closing distance of the latest Jack Sparrow adventure.
As said above, Transformers: Dark of the Moon will also likely hit the billion mark next weekend as well so within a few week’s time, we’ll also see whether that pushes Pirates 4 down to 3rd place.
Stay tuned…
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Numbers:
Budget: $250 mil
Opening: $90.1 mil

Domestic: $238.2 mil
Foreign: $794.6 mil
Worldwide: $1.033 bil
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2 Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $169.1 mil

Domestic: $318.4 mil
Foreign: $690.0 mil
Worldwide: $1.008 bil
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Numbers:
Budget: $195 mil
Opening: $97.8 mil
Domestic: $337.8 mil
Foreign: $645.0 mil
Worldwide: $982.8 mil
Kung Fu Panda 2 Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $47.6 mil

Domestic: $161.6 mil
Foreign: $447.5 mil
Worldwide: $609.1 mil
Fast Five Numbers:
Budget: $125 mil
Opening: $86.1 mil

Domestic: $209.6 mil
Foreign: $394.1 mil
Worldwide: $603.7 mil
The Hangover II Numbers:
Budget: $80 mil
Opening: $85.9 mil

Domestic: $252.6 mil
Foreign: $310.4 mil
Worldwide: $563.0 mil
Thor Numbers:
Budget: $150 mil
Opening: $65.7 mil

Domestic: $180.5 mil
Foreign: $267.1 mil
Worldwide: $447.7 mil
Cars 2 Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $66.1 mil

Domestic: $182.0 mil
Foreign: $218.0 mil
Worldwide: $400.0 mil
X-Men: First Class Numbers:
Budget: $160 mil
Opening: $55.1 mil

Domestic: $144.7 mil
Foreign: $203.8 mil
Worldwide: $348.5 mil
Captain America: The First Avenger Numbers:
Budget: $140 mil
Opening: $65.0 mil

Domestic: $116.7 mil
Foreign: $53.5 mil
Worldwide: $170.2 mil
Green Lantern Numbers:
Budget: $200 mil
Opening: $53.1 mil

Domestic: $114.3 mil
Foreign: $36.0 mil
Worldwide: $150.3 mil
Cowboys & Aliens Numbers:
Budget: $163 mil
Opening: $36.2 mil

Domestic: $36.2 mil
Foreign: N/A yet
Worldwide: $36.2 mil
Friday, August 5, 2011 Releases:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (3,500+)
The Change-Up (2,700+)
Magic Trip
Mysteries of Lisbon


Showing items 1 - 10 of 36
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Rascal020978 7/31/2011 2:07:34 PM

All I can say is ... BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Tienaai 7/31/2011 2:20:20 PM

Smurfin' fantastic!!!  Love those little blue guys!! just couldn't climb out of my Netflix que.  I am sorry.  Bring on the sequel!

ponyboy76 7/31/2011 3:24:54 PM

This is why reviews don't seem to count for much, because even though Cowboys &Aliens was getting luke warm reviews, Smurfs were getting horrible reviews. Its still made bank. I do think that it'll definitely drop by more than 60% next weekend due to word of mouth, but who knows people are nostalgic.

vitieddie 7/31/2011 3:35:55 PM

hahahahaha ... its funny ... but hope Cowboys does better in the coming weeks ... I like the cast and crew ... hopefully DC can get Jon Favreau to do a Flash movie ...

dalgoda 7/31/2011 4:01:02 PM

It's gonna be real close between Thor and Cap for biggest superhero movie of the year.  And also real close between HP and TF3 for the domestic champ of the summer.  It was close for me between Cap and Thor, but I slightly preferred Thor.

boxker 7/31/2011 4:01:54 PM

I Saw C & B with my kids and I liked it. Never even saw a Smurfs trailer. didn't know it was coming out this week.


wessmith1966 7/31/2011 4:48:59 PM

When Cowboys & Aliens was first mentioned on this site I thought "what a cool idea with Favreau in the big chair." When I saw the cast I thought "good leading and supporting cast." When the trailers came out I really wasn't impressed; they do anything to get me excited for the movie. When a trailer bores me that's a bad sign. After seeing the film today I think I would have enjoyed the movie more if it would have just been a straight western. I would have much rather watched a movie about a badass with no memory. I thought the movie was very boring. Never read the graphic novel, but I likied the idea. Maybe it failed for me because there were too many writers; too many cooks spoiling the dinner kind of thing. Once the sci-fi element was introduced the movie just went nowhere for me. It was pretty much what I expected. I'm interested to see what karas1 thought of the film; she was looking forward to this one. For me it wasn't even an exciting throw away popcorn movie; it was completely forgettable to the point of looking at my watch to see how long until it was over.

I'm really surprised to see that Smurfs did as well as it did; I hated those things in the 80s and expected it to tank. I guess people needed a movie they could take their little kids to.

Cap dropped about as much as expected. I've seen it five times now and think it's just a great adaptation of the hero. I can't wait to add the DVD to my collection.I know I'll see it one or two more times before it leaves the theater. It'll top out around $140 million statestide which is what I expected. Not a huge hit, but definitely another successful movie for Marvel Studios.

Looking forward to Rise of the Apes and The Change up this weekend. Rise kind of slid under the radar for me until the last trailer which looked great.

axia777 7/31/2011 5:06:55 PM

 Cow Boys and Aliens got beaten by that steaming pile of dog shite?  REALLY?  Man, I have lost all respect I ever had(what little there was) for the public in general.  The Smurfs movie looks like straight to DVD crap.  Now they will dump out a sequel too!  What a waste to money.

BunyonSnipe 7/31/2011 5:32:52 PM

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGH the first sign of the apocalypse!

Smurfs REALLY cost $110 million?

BunyonSnipe 7/31/2011 5:33:56 PM

What the hell does neck IN neck mean, don't you mean neck AND neck?


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