Box Office: Holy Smurf! Cowboys and Aliens Got Smurfed This Weekend

Hate to say it, but I kind of saw this coming. Jon Favreau is an excellent director, and in theory the genre mashup that is “Cowboys and Aliens” should be a great idea, but if you’ve even seen anything from the movie — trailers, clips, etc — then you can probably figure out that the film just doesn’t quite … work. And this is coming from a guy who LOVES both genres — just, you know, separated. The really big issue with “Cowboys and Aliens”? It’s a big-budget Hollywood film (it comes into theaters with an estimated $163 million production budget — add to that the cost of advertising, all those fancy junkets, etc, and you’re looking at $250 million or thereabouts for the whole shebang, and I’m being OVERLY generous there), but strip away the big stars, and it FEELS like another Syfy Channel movie of the week.

“Cowboys and Aliens” currently holds a 44% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought there was something off with the film. Our very own Alyssa didn’t seem to appreciate the Favreau film as well. (You can read her full review here.) And while “The Smurfs” did no better with critics (it’s boasting a 20% freshness rating, and our very own Brent trashed it something hilarious), it nevertheless exceeded expectations and gave “Cowboys and Aliens” a run for its money. The two films now come into the weekend neck-in-neck, with both films collecting studio estimated $36.2 million. That’s a tie, folks. Monday’s final numbers will tell the tale, though I suspect “Smurfs” will eventually take the lead, given that Sunday is prime family entertainment day, while Fridays and Saturdays are usually reserved for young males looking to spend some hard-earned cash, and a film like “Cowboys and Aliens” would fit that bill. Either way? It’s been a very disappointing weekend for “Cowboys and Aliens”.

The only other major studio release for the weekend was the romcom “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, which enticed enough women and adults to earn $19 for the week, and giving it the five spot, just missing the #4 spot currently being occupied by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”. The Warner Bros. finale to the Potter franchise has now earned a whopping $963 worldwide since its released, with the $1 billion mark easily within reach. The sci-fi Brit import “Attack the Block” opened in limited release — a scant 8 screens, but is probably the best reviewed film of the week. Brent also gave it a glowing review.

And finally, last week’s #1, “Captain America: The First Avenger” fell to third place, adding an extra $24.9 million to its coffers, giving it $116 million so far in two weeks of release domestically, and $126 million worldwide. The film still has a number of notable foreign releases ahead of it, so those foreign numbers should climb in the coming weeks. As Marvel films go, the good Captain is still lagging behind his fellow Avenger Thor, whose movie had earned $119 million by its second week. Time to catch up, Cap!