Box office update: 'The Smurfs' stuns 'Cowboys & Aliens' with $13.3 mil on Friday, and 'Potter' prepares to hit $1 billion worldwide

Smurfs

Image Credit: Sony Pictures Animatation

What the smurf is going on here? A clan of Belgian blue critters has stunned Hollywood, as The Smurfs led the box office on Friday with $13.3 million, according to early estimates. Sony’s $110 million live-action and animation hybrid, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Glee‘s Jayma Mays as a couple who take in six transplanted Smurfs, received horrific reviews. But that didn’t stop the PG-rated film, based on the famous Peyo comic strip and 1980s animated show, from topping what everyone thought was assured a first-place finish: Cowboys & Aliens. It’ll be a close finish, but The Smurfs should end the weekend victoriously with about $37 million.

As for Cowboys & Aliens, this opening has got to be a bit of a disappointment. The PG-13 picture, which courageously mixed the Western and sci-fi genres, settled for $13 million on Friday. That puts it on pace for a $36 million weekend. And while that’d be a solid start for many films, it’s not what one expects to see from a $163 million project directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), produced by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer, and starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

Although Universal hasn’t released any demographic info yet, Cowboys & Aliens grossed only an estimated $700,000 at midnight shows, indicating a lack of interest from younger moviegoers. It also performed nearly identical to Super 8, another Spielberg-produced alien film that also struggled to attract the teenage and young-adult crowd. Super 8, which cost only $50 million to make, collected $35.5 million its first weekend and then proceeded to hold up very well the following weeks. Cowboys & Aliens better hope it displays the same stamina.

The weekend’s third new movie, the PG-13 romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love., finished fifth and took in a respectable $6.6 million on Friday. The $45 million film, starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone, scored strong reviews and continued the summer’s streak of adult-comedy hits. It’s on track to finish the weekend with around $19 million.

As for holdovers, Captain America: The First Avenger (while writing this, I initially mistyped The Fire Avenger, and I must admit I would have rather seen that movie) dropped a sharp 69 percent for $7.9 million. Cap’s on pace for a $25 million weekend, which would bring his two-week tally to about $117 million — just slightly behind Thor‘s two-week total of $119.5 million.

And Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 conjured $6.6 million on Friday, pushing its domestic gross past $300 million to $303.2 million. By the end of the weekend, it should overtake Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ($317.6 million) to become the top-grossing Potter film domestically. Also, Deathly Hallows — Part 2 is expected to reach $1 billion worldwide today. It’ll be the first Potter movie to join the billion-dollar club, which currently counts only eight other films as its members.

Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. The Smurfs — $13.3 mil
2. Cowboys & Aliens — $13.0 mil
3. Captain America: The First Avenger — $7.9 mil
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 — $6.6 mil
5. Crazy, Stupid, Love. — $6.6 mil

Box office preview: Cowboys & Aliens takes aim at The Smurfs invasion


Comments (171 total) Add your comment
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  • Jon

    $36 mil opening weekend seems like bad start considering its budget

    • LOL

      America wallows in crap.

      • sam

        You are pitiful

      • LOL

        I just have high standards. I had hopes that America was ready to embrace quality films at the beginning of the summer when they rewarded excellence by giving the top spot to Fast Five. Sadly, it was a fluke, since then they have flocked to nothing but crap. I hold out hope for my fellow Americans, but I must admit, I am disheartened.

      • Michael

        Anyone who includes Fast Five in their list of quality films doesn’t have much credibility in my books.

      • DRG

        Boy, America really does love it some crap and that is really sad.

      • Katie

        How many times have you posted this on different articles? Droll Troll.

      • Nick T

        Haha at LOL for the Fast5 comment. What are you talking about??

      • Dear LOL,

        Please get some new material. Your “America loves crap”, and, “FastFive is the best movie of the year” lines are growing tired.

      • You all DO realize that LOL works for the studio that produced “Fast Five,” right?

        I know this because homey and I work together. He’s my boo and all—but he spends a little too much time at the boy bar.

      • Tom

        damn they have completely run out of any original ideas in Hollywood

      • Brahmin

        Who owns the measuring post on defining crap??? Not you of course

        to chew on:

        Worldwide and U.S. gross are usual identically aligned.
        That the list of movies you find interesting people think are crap.
        Every summer an independent movie with no marketing owns the box office. Audiences just find it.

        It is possible you don’t define what crap.

        It is possible the same person who goes to see 500 Days of Summer..may buy a ticket for the Smurfs when he with his kids.

      • Michael

        Fast Five is not a good movie; what is wrong with you, LOL?

      • kckcb

        So Thor is the BIGGEST superhero movie this summer. Everybody thought that was a failure when it came out. HA!

    • LOL

      I trusted you, and you screwed me over. Don’t try to deny it, you can not hide it. Burn. Burn. Burn.

      • TorontoTom

        LOL – Besides the well-deserved Best Picture nomination that Fast Five is sure to pick up (and Best Director too – duh!), do you see it snagging multiple acting nominations?

      • LOL

        In a just world, Vin Diesel would already have at least three Best Actor wins, and be adding a third to his mantle for Fast Five. Unfortunately, we live in a world where crap like Dances With Wolves wins best picture. I think Fast Five is better off without the stink of mediocrity that so taint the Oscars.

      • Loch Ness

        The funniest thing is that people think that there is only one LOL.

      • TorontoTom

        I heard that Meryl Streep is in talks for Fast 6 as a possible love interest for Diesel.

    • Marc

      That’s an epic fall for Captain America. Seems like it won’t even outgross THOR.

      • Brett

        It’s not an “epic fail” (a much-overused expression that should be retired, by the way). The Potter movie had a bigger drop off from its opening weekend. The real question is how well Cap will perform internationally. It opened in a much more crowded field of movies than did Thor.

      • Marc

        It opened in Italy with 2.8 million, versus THOR’s 4.2 million opening. Seems like it’s also an epic disappointment. And this weekend’s decrease for CA will be steeper than THOR’s second weekend. In fact, by the end of the weekend, it will be behind THOR at the same point. And like you said, with bigger competition, it’s definitely going to end below THOR. Not to mention that it will not be a strong seller overseas. With a 140 million budget, at least 75 million in marketing and distribution expenses, and taking out the percentage that theatres keep, this Red, White and Blue hero won’t be in the black for a loooooong time.

      • Scapegoat

        @Brett, I’m pretty sure Marc typed “epic fall”, not “epic fail”. So the only one over-using that phrase is you.

      • @Brett

        HP7P2 dropped three percent more (72% versus 69%). It also made $104 million MORE than CA.

      • Brett = epic fail

        HAHA.

      • Tom

        all comic book movies have been a bomb recently.. maybe it’s time to stop with the comic book movies ppl

      • Shaun

        Given Harry Potter’s massive opening weekend, and strong next week that followed, the huge drop off was completely expected. Keep in mind that a 72% drop after that huge opening was STILL a huge number for the second weekend’s take. So HP made far more in its second weekend than Cap will in its second weekend (I did enjoy both movies though, so that’s no indication of quality). HP’s showing pretty good legs, actually, given all the movies that have come out the past couple of weeks, AND the fact that everyone saw it that first weekend.

      • Shaun

        @ Tom: Thor did just fine (over $180 mil in the US), X-Men: First Class may have underperformed a tad, but it was going to be a tough sell given that it was period piece, AND how badly damaged the franchise was after X3 and Wolverine. FOX is probably reasonably happy with it. And Captain America’s doing about what Thor did. None of those are “bombs,” particulary Thor and Cap. All of those movies got good reviews, generally too.

        Green Lantern, however, bombed. Hardly a surprise, given how bad it looked in the trailers and all the bad reviews it was saddled with.

        With four superhero movies this year, and only one actual dud in the bunch, that’s not bad. Next year, both Batman and The Avengers are likely to do really well.

      • PN

        I think that the core fans went to see Harry Potter for one time only. They’re not the kind to see these movies over and over again. That movie made all of its money and gross on its first week. And the 72 percent drop is typical but it’s still doing strong business against heavy summer competition.

    • vidmike

      The Cohen brothers made True Grit for less than $30million, why would you commit 160 million just because of the all star producer list, love everyone on that list, the picture should have had a tight budget, Westerns are hard enough to get made, True Grit made money, this movie will be lucky to make back the investment, maybe world wide.

      • Jeannie

        True Grit didn’t have aliens. You can’t really compare their budgets.

      • charles

        I agree 160 mil is retarded amount (esp. considering how bad the economy still is). That’s why I love 70s and the beginning of 80s, they made a lot of great movies with small budget (for example OG “Star Wars” cost around 40 mil in 2011 money).

      • PN

        But these people are so sure that the movie would do big its first week. I don’t know why some movie studios would plunk $160 million to make a movie when it barely made a dent its first week. And Westerns are a hard sell these days in this era of CGI,3D, stunts and sound effects in movies.

    • Tajah

      It’s one of the signs of the apocalypse.

  • Kevin7

    C&A would have been better off if it was released in April or May. Bye this time in the summer all the bigger films have come and broke the bank so most people are less inclined to shell out more money on a film that’s not a sure thing.

    • Mother Nature

      Agreed. I would like to see C&A, but am kind of in a CGI burn-out phase right now. Would have been nice earlier in the spring, when there was little else out. Still, I’ll likely see it in the theater, just maybe a matinee in a couple of weeks. Would have loved to have taken my kids to a movie this weekend, but the Smurfs looked too awful to contemplate, so we’re getting a DVD. Can’t imagine who’s seeing that dreck.

      • Barry

        People who use this type of garbage as a baby sitter. Next up is more Chipmonk crap in Dec.

    • The Watcher

      I totally agree. Wasn’t it two weekends ago that Harry Potter came out, than last weekend Captain America, and now this weekend the Hyped up Cowboys and Aliens. It’s the middle of summer and there are other things people would like to do than three straight weekends of going to the Movies. Cowboys and Aliens should have came out Mid-August to give people breathing room and something to look forward to later in the Summer.

    • PN

      It should have come out in the spring. There was hardly anything going on the first few months of the year and it could have broken big at that time, not in a very competitive summer season against some blockbusters and the usual sequel franchise movies. But maybe they were not finished making the movie at that time.

  • Justin P.

    There was nothing courageous at all about C & A. When I saw the first trailer, I knew that the movie would be horrible. I’m glad that it’s going to bomb so hopefully Hollywood starts making fewer movies like C & A.

    • Brett = epic fail

      I agree. The whole A + B formula has yet to work—about the only way “Superman + Batman” is going to make any money is if it’s gay porn.

      • Mark

        I would watch that, for sure.

  • Chris in Virginia

    I originally was excited about Cowboys & Aliens, but will admit as more trailers came out and then weak reviews, my interest diminished. For me, it went from a “theater must-see” to a “wait for on-demand” event.

    • D

      This sums me up as well. I was really intrigued by the concept at first, but after a couple of trailers and tepid reviews, I now know I can wait to see it on demand or not at all. Certainly not worth paying full in-theater price for it.

    • SaraS

      Yep. And Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford? a) Who cares, and b) They didn’t do any press for this movie. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis have been doing press for FWB for like 3 months… not that it made me want to go see that, either though.

      • Shellibelli

        umm i see Hf doing alot of press, but not so much on Craig.

        the director and as well was on all the shows.

      • willa

        They’ve been hyping this movie for a year. Lack of publicity is not the problem. If anything they’ve over hyped it, so people have become sick of it.

      • PN

        I didn’t see Harrison Ford on any of the talk shows this week hyping the movie. Or even Daniel Craig. Maybe they’re private people. The only recent think I saw Harrison in was in a magazine ad for Milk with the milk over his lip and he had long thumbnails that needed to be trimmed.

      • Eric

        You don’t care about Harrison Ford or Daniel Craig? Wow, you’re on the wrong thread.

    • ks

      My thoughts exactly.

    • NoRez

      Glad it wasn’t just me; C&A was really being talked up as the next great movie, from the director of “Iron Man,” yet that super bowl ad left me cold. Every new ad after that made me think ‘this just doesn’t look very good. Am I nuts?’

      I wish the aliens who obviously abducted him ages ago would give us back the real Ford; the one who made Mosquito Coast, Blade Runner, and Witness.

    • Eric

      FYI, the movie was actually really good. I mean if you can get over the fact that there are Cowboys & Aliens in it; the movie was actually really solid. Forget the bad reviews – go see it.

      • Smile

        I agree you dont know what your missin if you listen to everyone else’s opinion.

  • Brad

    I want to see Cowboys and Aliens but I think with the economy these days most people are picking a handful of movies to see in the theater and waiting on the rest for home release. I used up my theater movies on Harry Potter, X-Men and Thor.

    Kevin7 is right. This late in the summer and most people are burnt out or cashed out on seeing movies in the theater.

    • Shellibelli

      I saw Captain America and it wasa really good film, very well made and written Im serious. VEry interesting.

      Loved Thor and harry Potter as well, I so wanted to see Cand A but not with everyone hating it so badly.

      • Xander

        No offense intended Shellibelli, but I and my son thought Captain America was quite boring. The way the Red Skull lost was ridiculous (I’m melting, melting!) Steve Rogers was an underdeveloped character, even when he ‘developed’. Good performances, sharp looking movie … but lacked an edge, we thought.

    • Tom

      In this economy, people don’t have time to waste their money on movies they can download for free with their internet at home. It would have to be as good as star wars for most people to actually buy movie tickets and take the trouble to find parking, etc etc

    • Liz Lemon

      Save your money on Cowboys & Aliens. I thought it was so predictable and boring. I should have just seen Harry Potter again.
      I also saw Friends with Benefits and that was surprisingly REALLY good.

      • Eric

        Disagree with you, C&A was awesome. Honestly, of the people who were disappointed, I have no clue what the hell you were expecting. It was very good.

      • Liz Lemon

        @Eric: I wasn’t expecting to see it. Me and my friends got there and it was the only film (besides The Smurfs) that was starting in the next 30 minutes.
        But it wasn’t the worse movie I’ve seen, I thought it just lacked substance and the plot was very weak.

  • LMFAO

    If you see The Smurfs, then the terrorists have won.

    • STFU

      I’ve seen this post from you already. Guess what? It’s still not funny.

      • me

        Word.

  • John M.

    If the Smurfs win the box office this weekend, then this will prove how embarassing of a country America has become. The dumbing-down continues.

    • helena

      ooooooh, what an ORIGINAL comment!! thanks so much for sharing. Or maybe, just possibly, parents are taking their kids because the kids want to go, and it is summertime so they need a little entertainment.

      • pastafarian

        I hope you’re referring to the kids and not the parents. Who would be entertained by this?

      • Mike

        1. Name three of your favorite emoivs.The Notebook, Tangled, and I am Number 42. Now pick your all-time favorite. It can only be one!The Notebook3. What has been the stupidest idea for a movie that came out?The Invention of Lying! NEVER watch it!4. Do you go to the movie theater a lot or would you rather watch it on DVD at home?Both 5. Whate28099s your favorite genre? (Horror, drama, foreign, comedy, etc.)Any!6. What is your least favorite movie?Ummm I can’t remember 7. Which movie do you know all the words to?Hmmm theres prolly a lot haha The Notebook8. Which book do you wish would get turned into a movie?Hmmm i think all the ones i like have been emoivs ha9. Do you have Netflix?Yes10. Name the best movie youe28099ve seen in the last six months.Hmmmm I have no idea. maybe crazy stupid love11. How often do you watch emoivs?Pretty often12. Have you ever seen a movie you thought you would hate but ended up loving?Yeaa13. Everyone has a favorite Disney movie. Whate28099s yours?Tangled <314. What is the most unrealistic movie youe28099ve ever seen?Hmmm haha there's been a lot15. Which movie makes you laugh the most?Hmmm Grown ups was pretty funny16. What movie have you seen the most?Prolly The Notebook17. Which is your favorite old movie?Hmm not sure18. What was the last movie you saw in theaters?Crazy Stupid Love19. Best movie snack: popcorn, candy, or stuff you sneak in?Popcorn or stuff i bring 20. Which do you think is the worst movie of this summer?Dunno21. Who are is your favorite actress and actor?Taylor Lautner! and many others lol22. Which movie do you think deserves an Oscar nomination so far this year?Not sure23. Have you ever wanted to be an actress?Yea at one point24. Do you have an idea for an awesome movie?Hahah u dont wanna know25. Scariest movie youe28099ve ever seen?The Orphan!

    • STFU

      Really? America’s downfall is from movies like the Smurfs? Chew on the ridiculousness of your comment and get back to me.

    • Scapegoat

      America has rewarded plenty of dumb movies with financial success. SMURFS is hardly the first.

    • Alyssa

      Why do people suck on the every word of critics??? I could give a good God Damn what they say about any movie. I saw the SMURFS and Captain America. Yes Cpt. America was a way better movie but the little kids I took to the Smurfs had a good time and I thought it was a very cute movie. People need to see movies for themselves and not based on cynical people like critics. Its become cool to hate on movies just to hate- and that is the dumbest thing ever.

      • Scapegoat

        I think it’s just that most teens and adults without children find it dispiriting that a $100 Million SMURFS movie actually exists. I’m sure the film is a perfectly acceptable day-out for families with kids.

      • Merry Bear

        Speak for yourself, but I don’t know anyone with kids–desperate as our kind may be–who is going to be shelling out money for the Smurfs. Even my kids thought it looked bad. The trailer actually showed the toilet, just to forewarn parents about the toilet humor they’d be exposing their progeny to.

    • willa

      Kids movies do well because the whole family has to buy tickets and kids are easy to please. It has nothing to do with the over all taste level of a whole country. I should also add that other counties consume American movies and TV shows, so they aren’t any smarter.

      • Oni

        I for one, wecolme our glorious Muppet overlords .Seriously, was this ever in doubt? Kermit & Piggy alone could run rings around the little blue people. Can’t wait to see the new Muppet movie too! Great review, though! Well done!

    • John M.

      I just assumed that Cowboys & Aliens would win big this weekend.

  • Sith Lord J

    Look like a PG 13 rating didn’t help Crazy Stupid Love at all. Sorry Ryan a Aptow lite movie isn’t a box office draw.

    • Allison

      I don’t get the Ryan Gosling thing. He looked sexually ambiguous wearing those V-neck shirts and posing hard in the trailers. It looked like all the other stupid rom-coms.

      • graeme

        Huh? A $19 million opening is just fine. I saw this last night and the audience LOVED it. People applauded at several points during the film. I expect this flick to hold up very well in the coming weeks.

      • Brett = epic fail

        Really? Did they stand up and cheer for more, like Rex Reed? Did they say: “GO JULIA, GO GET HIM!”?

      • PN

        And Ryan’s hard guy character trying to tell clean cut and safe Steve Carell’s character to be a man with the naughty come-ons to women just didn’t work. I don’t like these hard people trying to tell softy people to harden their image in movies. It doesn’t always happen in real life.

    • Amber

      We saw Crazy Stupid Love last night and loved it. I don’t really think it suffered from the rating. I don’t think a movie aimed at adults has to be rated R in order to be good. I don’t mind movies that are rated R, but I didn’t feel like the movie would’ve benefited from more “R-rated” behavior.

      • Sonny’s Girl

        I was interested in seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love until I realized it was rated PG-13 and not R. It’s not because I have to have R rated material in a film. But, I can’t stand when they water down material that is obviously intended to be R rated (Ryan Gosling is a ladies man who helps Steve Carrel get women) in order to get a PG-13.

      • Danny

        In this case the movie didn’t feel watered down for the PG-13 rating. They handled language and sexuality so deftly it always felt true to the situation. Kind of a “hard” PG-13.

  • daisy

    sorry but just because the smurfs kinda suck doesnt mean this is proof of the dumbing down of this country. Try the last two transformers movies if you wanna see proof of stupidity… or how about the fast and furious franchise. What a steaming pile of garbage that is. When you are talking about kids movies you have to expect a lot of stupid stuff, but those others are marketed to adults who should know better.

    • Gina Vera

      Totally agree is a kids movie if you have two kids and tow adults in 3D that is sure to earn move than a C&I where only two adults or teenagers should go.

      • LMFAO

        Try that in English, Gina.

      • L

        Sorry, what??

  • jackie d

    A lot of people knew that Cowboys & Aliens would bomb as sci-fi and westerns are a horrible combination. Doesn’t anybody remember that horrid Wild Wild West movie with Will Smith? That should have been the first indicator. Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg – hang your heads in shame.

    • Mary

      Don’t forget Sereniflop…I mean, Serenity. The ridiculous Cowboys in Space film flop (39 million GLOBALLY on a 40 million budget) that ws based on a TV flop, Firefly. The whole Western/Science film doesn’t connect with audiences.

      • jackie d

        Good point Mary!

      • Scapegoat

        Jon Favreau, with his endless PR stumping, is the one who ought to be ashamed. He used all of his “geek cred” in a vain attempt to pump up the opening weekend, to no avail.

    • dankitti

      You really think that sci fi movies and westerns are a bad combination? Doesn’t anyone remember Aliens In The Wild Wild West? Erm you don’t?!?!? I guess you are right after all. :)

  • Rolo Tomasi

    The worse thing to come out of this: Smurfs 2

  • Stacey

    I saw the Smurfs. Sure it’s a stupid movie. The villian is way to stupid, and cartoony when it moves to New York. But the Smurfs were very cute. A funny. And Neil and Jayma were excellent for their role. I was surprised by Katy Parry as Smurfette. She did a excellent job. And what can I say, Clumsy is sooo adorable. Yeah it’s not going to win any awards except for the animation but who cares. It’s summer fluff and fun!

    • John

      It’s people like you who are ruining movies for all of us.

      • LMFAO

        Right on John. I bet Stacey’s last name is bin Laden.

      • Woot

        Really LMFAO? Stacey’s last name is obviously Hitler, not bin Laden.

    • Sith Lord J

      At Least Katy Perry should have tired to sound like the Smurfette from the TV show but I guess that wasn’t in her acting range.

    • Alyssa

      Jack**** get a life. I agree Stacey. It was dumb fun. And couldn’t help but be ” fooled by their cuteness” same with Chihuahua movies….then again with those I am a sucker for any dog movie.

      It had a cute but simple plot and I thought Gargamul was funny with that dumb cat.

      • pastafarian

        Chihuahuas ain’t dogs. They’re somewhere between a rodent and chupacabra.

  • Via

    I just watched Crazy, Stupid, Love and it was great! I recommend it to everyone! I was crying from laughing as well as sadness. Great movie!

    • m1

      I also saw it. It fell apart slightly towards the end, but it was really funny and well-acted! I really hope more people see it.

    • jackie d

      This movie should not have been released in summer. It will not find the audience it so richly deserves.

    • Liz Lemon

      I was considering that one, but I settled on FWB instead (which was awesome…way better than No Strings Attached).

    • Geek

      I didn’t like it. It was ridiculous when it was trying to be all realistic. A big letdown.

  • Greg “Cat” Springer

    They always say it’s a “shocker” when kid-friendly films do better than adult sci-fi. Hello? Families?

    • Swish

      Exactly. I don’t think too many 21 year old guys were debating whether to see The Smurfs vs. C & A. Vice versa for kids/families. Two different audiences entirely.

    • Greta

      Exactly. Kids’ movies are almost always a better box-office bet than anything else; kids want to see EVERYTHING, and there are tons of parents and grandparents willing to shell out for multiple tickets. Not that there have not been kiddie-film flops, because there have been, but by and large, even a mediocre kids’ movie will make some bank.

  • Alfred

    No one care what stuffy critics say the people will see what they want

    • Alyssa

      I love you. I 2nd what you said.

      • Danielly

        My girlfriend dksliied the film as well, but mostly because of it’s creative liberties when straying from the novel Unfortunately I was really excited for this film.

    • Johnny Extreme—TO THE MAX!!

      We have the freedom to see whatever steaming pile we choose, consarnit! USA! USA!

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