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Weekend Box-Office: July 29-31, 2011

Jul. 31, 2011by:

UPDATE: The actual figures are in and COWBOYS & ALIENS was the #1 movie of this past weekend. See numbers below....

Cowboys vs Smurfs! Too close to call!

On Friday, if we had asked you what film would be #1 over this past weekend, I'm not sure many of you would have chosen THE SMURFS over COWBOYS & ALIENS, especially with most critics ravaging THE SMURFS, but early Sunday estimates indicate that both films scored approximately $36.2M over the weekend, which has to be somewhat disappointing for COWBOYS which was loaded with star names, Jon Favreau's IRON MAN background and a budget of close to $165M. Yipes! We'll update this story on Monday with the "actual figures".

That said, word on the street is that THE SMURFS also cost $110M to produce (like...seriously??), so both films still have a way to go before making their money back, although they both will also count on international dollars to do so. COWBOYS & ALIENS was fighting an uphill battle from the start with the "genre-mixing" that audiences generally stay away from (is it a comedy, a western, a sci-fi movie...?), but from my personal point of view, if we don't support films like this, Hollywood will continue to churn out SHREKS, SAWS and FINAL DESTINATIONS 'till the cows come home. I was able to check it out over the weekend and enjoyed it overall.

As for the other new release of the weekend, CRAZY STUPID LOVE managed a decent opening with a 5th place finish of $19M, but at the same time, nothing to write home about. In the meantime, last weekend's #1 movie, CAPTAIN AMERICA, lost over 60% of its audience from last week and dropped to 3rd place this weekend, although it has already grossed $116M in the first 10 days of its release, which ain't too shabby (budget: $140M).

The final installment of the HARRY POTTER franchise also dropped another 50% of its audience from last weekend, but still managed to add another $22M to its total, which has now officially become the highest-grossing POTTER movie of all-time ($319M domestically and over $1B globally). 

And while a film like HORRIBLE BOSSES is close to crossing the $100M mark, I'm happy to report that crap like ZOOKEEPER will barely make its budget back as it now stands at $68M, with a budget of $80M. CARS 2 also appears to be stalling in 11th place on the list of 12 Pixar animated movies, with only A BUG'S LIFE (the studio's 2nd animated film ever) grossing less money. Hopefully that lets the great folks at Pixar know that audiences are not looking for "mediocre" sequels that seem to be created mostly for the purposes of merchandising. Story has always been #1 at Pixar and they seem to have forgotten that this time around. Hopefully that will change with their next release.

The 3 films to get booted from the top 10 this weekend include WINNIE THE POOH ($22M), MIDNIGHT IN PARIS ($47M) and BAD TEACHER ($97M) which turned into a very profitable movie, considering that it only cost about $20M to make.

Next weekend sees the release of two major films including the confusing-looking THE CHANGE-UP starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, two actors that I like a lot, but who just seem to be going through the motions here. Hopefully the trailers ain't selling the film well enough. The other movie is the one with the overlong title RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (why not simply call it RISE OF THE APES?) which honestly seems to be intriguing a lot of people that I've spoken to. Everyone seems to be saying, "Hmmmm, I'm curious to see how this comes out". If the film actually entertains, it may turn into a late summer surprise. THE WHISTLEBLOWER starring Rachel Weisz is also opening next Friday, although I'm not 100% sure if it's a wide or limited release. So are you interesting in seeing RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES? VOTE HERE!!!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Cowboys & Aliens $36.4 M
NEW
2. The Smurfs $35.6 M
NEW
3. Captain America: The First Avenger $25.5 M $117.4 M
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 $21.9 M $318.5 M
5. Crazy Stupid Love $19.1 M
NEW
6. Friends with Benefits $9.3 M $38.2 M
7. Horrible Bosses $7.1 M $96.2 M
8. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $5.9 M $337.9 M
9. Zookeeper $4.2 M $68.7 M
10. Cars 2 $2.3 M $182.1 M

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2:11AM on 08/01/2011

okay so

i need to express my opinion without being called an idiot or a loser or retarded but i actually enjoyed the smurfs more than cowboys & aliens,i liked them both but smurfs had more laughs then i expected and it was a cute movie,not as dumb as people think and it brought back memories of my childhood so smurf the critics,hope smurfs is #1 and please stop bashing the movie,go see it first then start judging.
i need to express my opinion without being called an idiot or a loser or retarded but i actually enjoyed the smurfs more than cowboys & aliens,i liked them both but smurfs had more laughs then i expected and it was a cute movie,not as dumb as people think and it brought back memories of my childhood so smurf the critics,hope smurfs is #1 and please stop bashing the movie,go see it first then start judging.
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10:22PM on 07/31/2011
Finally saw Captain America. And wow. That was the movie Joe Johnston was put on this Earth to make. Cap's origin is played to perfection, Evans proves how much better an actor he is than Ryan Reynolds, more than appropriate deference is given to the fact that World War II wasn't won by supermen, but by the blood and sweat of millions of common men. All other actors more than deliver on whats asked of them. The production design, setting, action and pacing is the best the Marvelverse has
Finally saw Captain America. And wow. That was the movie Joe Johnston was put on this Earth to make. Cap's origin is played to perfection, Evans proves how much better an actor he is than Ryan Reynolds, more than appropriate deference is given to the fact that World War II wasn't won by supermen, but by the blood and sweat of millions of common men. All other actors more than deliver on whats asked of them. The production design, setting, action and pacing is the best the Marvelverse has produced to date. And Hayley Atwell has some damn fine tig bitties.
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3:35AM on 08/01/2011
Until Evans shows he's able to carry an entire movie all by himself, then I wouldn't say he's a better actor than Ryan Reynolds.
Until Evans shows he's able to carry an entire movie all by himself, then I wouldn't say he's a better actor than Ryan Reynolds.
11:57AM on 08/01/2011
I'd say he did right here. He really carried the movie exceptionally well. He brought gravitas, understatement, humility, and dry humor to Cap. It was as I've always pictured Cap in the comics. He ACTED, as opposed to just playing himself like Reynolds did with Hal Jordan.
I'd say he did right here. He really carried the movie exceptionally well. He brought gravitas, understatement, humility, and dry humor to Cap. It was as I've always pictured Cap in the comics. He ACTED, as opposed to just playing himself like Reynolds did with Hal Jordan.
10:00PM on 07/31/2011
hoping Cowboys wins the battle
hoping Cowboys wins the battle
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9:30PM on 07/31/2011
hmm kinda expected a higher for Cowboys & Aliens but perhaps it will still have the legs for the remainder of the summer as August is a very weak month this year. Will be checking out C&A later this week. As for The Smurfs what more can you expect for a kids movie? Good for the final Harry Potter film to become the highest grossing one as it truly deserves every honor & record & was a great movie.
hmm kinda expected a higher for Cowboys & Aliens but perhaps it will still have the legs for the remainder of the summer as August is a very weak month this year. Will be checking out C&A later this week. As for The Smurfs what more can you expect for a kids movie? Good for the final Harry Potter film to become the highest grossing one as it truly deserves every honor & record & was a great movie.
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7:41PM on 07/31/2011
I'm seeing C&A tonight, so I'm glad to do my part in keeping crap like Smurfs from #1.
I'm seeing C&A tonight, so I'm glad to do my part in keeping crap like Smurfs from #1.
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7:25PM on 07/31/2011
smurfs beat pooh....sigh, so who wants to venture a guess on the next cgi/live action crapfest?
smurfs beat pooh....sigh, so who wants to venture a guess on the next cgi/live action crapfest?
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6:56PM on 07/31/2011

I really don't understand the flak for C&A's title

What is wrong with it? I'm certain the people complaining are the ones who would've preferred some brain-dead cheese like "The Battle" or "Attack of The Aliens". Go fall off a cliff.
What is wrong with it? I'm certain the people complaining are the ones who would've preferred some brain-dead cheese like "The Battle" or "Attack of The Aliens". Go fall off a cliff.
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6:39PM on 07/31/2011
I think the biggest reason why Cowboys and Aliens "under-performed" is because it wasn't able to clearly tell the audience what it wanted to be. On one hand you have this campy title and ridiculous premise while on the other you have a dead serious tone from the trailers. I think with that and the mixed word of mouth you had a movie that people were cautious about. I see it doing HUGE in home video rentals/sales though.

Glad to see it at #1.. usually a kids movie with a popular franchise
I think the biggest reason why Cowboys and Aliens "under-performed" is because it wasn't able to clearly tell the audience what it wanted to be. On one hand you have this campy title and ridiculous premise while on the other you have a dead serious tone from the trailers. I think with that and the mixed word of mouth you had a movie that people were cautious about. I see it doing HUGE in home video rentals/sales though.

Glad to see it at #1.. usually a kids movie with a popular franchise crushes the competition.
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6:28PM on 07/31/2011

what the hell

Am bummed Caps didnt get more, I thought people would want to see the First Avenger this is the last MARVEL movie till AVENGERS!
Am bummed Caps didnt get more, I thought people would want to see the First Avenger this is the last MARVEL movie till AVENGERS!
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6:10PM on 07/31/2011

@bill graham

Well as long as these "alien invasion" movies are exceptional like C&A is then I say bring it on.
Well as long as these "alien invasion" movies are exceptional like C&A is then I say bring it on.
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6:04PM on 07/31/2011

Yeah but....

Supporting Cowboys and Aliens will just lead to even more movies about alien invasion and I don't know if you noticed but there's alot of those films doing the rounds at the moment.
Supporting Cowboys and Aliens will just lead to even more movies about alien invasion and I don't know if you noticed but there's alot of those films doing the rounds at the moment.
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6:30PM on 07/31/2011
Well, at least this one was lot more "novel" in its approach. I would have preferred that more than another unnecessary adaptation of a classic cartoon that appeals to the lowest common denominator.
Well, at least this one was lot more "novel" in its approach. I would have preferred that more than another unnecessary adaptation of a classic cartoon that appeals to the lowest common denominator.
5:57PM on 07/31/2011
Yeah, Cowboys and Aliens is pretty much a flop. Shame, I just don't get why people have anything against movies like this. It's ****ing cowboys AND aliens!
Yeah, Cowboys and Aliens is pretty much a flop. Shame, I just don't get why people have anything against movies like this. It's ****ing cowboys AND aliens!
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5:53PM on 07/31/2011

C&A kicked ass...

And the only reason Smurfs or any of these other bullshit movies like it make any money is cause parents have to take their kids to see something.
And the only reason Smurfs or any of these other bullshit movies like it make any money is cause parents have to take their kids to see something.
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7:45PM on 07/31/2011
I'm a parent and I took my son to see Cowboys and Aliens. He loved as much as I did, but I do realize I'm an anomaly in these situations.
I'm a parent and I took my son to see Cowboys and Aliens. He loved as much as I did, but I do realize I'm an anomaly in these situations.
9:37PM on 07/31/2011
It because of parents like you that I have a shred of hope for the world.
It because of parents like you that I have a shred of hope for the world.
5:51PM on 07/31/2011
"Cowboys & Aliens" = fun time! solid film. **** (outta 5)
"Cowboys & Aliens" = fun time! solid film. **** (outta 5)
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