Weekend Box-Office: July 29-31, 2011

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!!!

1. Cowboys & Aliens $36.4 M
2. The Smurfs $35.6 M
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
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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