Cowboys & Aliens Nearly Smurfed at Box Office

August 1, 2011 by

That was close. Even though I didn’t really like Cowboys & Aliens, I would’ve been furious if The Smurfs had pulled off a shocking upset at the domestic box office. Early reports estimated a photo-finish tie for No. 1, but final tallies showed that Jon Favreau’s genre-blending sci-fi Western barely held off the surprising debut of the ’80s TV cartoon remake, which has looked like a prime candidate for worst movie of the year in trailers and ads. Armed with 3D along with its own hybrid of live action and CGI, The Smurfs actually led eventual winner Cowboys & Aliens in gross early in the weekend. The Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford vehicle’s $36.4 million opening is considered disappointing and not in the territory of the summer blockbuster it strived to be.

Not only did the final Harry Potter cross the $300 million mark domestically, but it surpassed the third Transformers in total gross to claim the spot of top worldwide earner of 2011 and also became the first movie this year to cross the $1 billion mark. Last week, Captain America opened as the biggest superhero movie of the year by a hair, but now it’s slightly trailing Thor. The other major release this weekend, well-received Crazy, Stupid, Love., rounded out the top 5.

Here were the top 5 in the domestic box office last weekend via BOM:

  1. Cowboys & Aliens — Weekend Gross: $36.4 million — Total Gross: $36.4 million (new)
  2. The Smurfs — Weekend Gross: $35.6 million — Total Gross: $35.6 million (new)
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger — Weekend Gross: $25.6 million — Total Gross: $117.4 million (#1 last week)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 — Weekend Gross: $22 million — Total Gross: $318.5 (#2 last week)
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love. — Weekend Gross: $19.2 million — Total Gross: $19.2 million (new)