We had an interesting weekend at the box office with Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs neck a neck. You see, Sunday estimates had them both at $36.2 million for the weekend but come Monday, Cowboys & Aliens was found to have been underestimated while The Smurfs was overestimated so the winner emerged. Other then that, Captain America took a stepper drop then expected while the latest Potter reached a new landmark.
Cowboys & Aliens debuted at number 1 with $36.4 million, softer then expected and considering the $163 million reported budget, far from a hit. Unfortunately, while a fun movie, Cowboys & Aliens combines two very specific genres that don’t turn hits all that often. Focusing on the western more then the sci-fi made this an even harder sell, regardless of the stellar cast they got going. I’m going to guess Cowboys & Aliens will finish right around $100 million and the future of this franchise is left in the hands of international audiences.
The Smurfs on the other hand performed better then expected with $35.6 million. Among other CGI-live action talking critter films, The Smurfs ranks higher then Yogi Bear ($16.4M) and G-Force ($31.7M) but lower than Hop ($37.5M) and Alvin and the Chipmunks ($44.3M). Taking into consideration the $110 million invested in this flick, a big budget for a kids movie, The Smurfs is going to need strong box office legs to make a profit. I can see this performing similarly to G-Force in the coming weeks so based on that it should finish with $120 million or so.
In 3rd place Captain America: The First Avenger took a bit of a dive, down 60.7% for $25.5 million. After 11 days Captain is neck a neck with Thor, $120.8 million versus $122.3 million. Captain lost his lead on the Norse god and is now looking like it won’t make it back so based on that, Captain America: The First Avenger is now on track for $165-170 million when all is said and done.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the movie with the longest name in the top 10, was 4th with $21.9 million and with $318.5 million in 17 days, it passed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ($317.5M) thus becoming the highest grossing entry in the series. This is obviously not adjusted for inflation, otherwise Deathly Hallows Part 2 would still have a long way to go.
Rounding out the top 5, Crazy, Stupid, Love performed as expected with $19.1 million. As far as romantic comedies go, this was a good opening, higher then last week’s Friends with Benefits ($18.6M) but that had an R rating while this is PG-13.
Now on to the Potter-Transformers race for the yearly top spot. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is now at $338.8 million after 34 days while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is at $321.8 million after 18 days. It doesn’t take a box office expert to figure out that Potter is going to pass Transformers sometime in the next 2 weeks. The autobots are on track to finish with $355-360 million while Potter should stop at around $370-375 million.