The box office results for the weekend of July 29th – 31st sees the “Crazy, Stupid, Love” for “Cowboys & Aliens” possibly getting Smurfed out of the top spot by fam-friendly 3D. The little blue guys beat the odds all while “Harry Potter” crosses another financial milestone. Here are the studio estimates:

1. The Smurfs ($36.2 million)

2. Cowboys & Aliens ($36.2 million)

3. Captain America: The First Avenger ($24.9 million)

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($21.9 million)

5. Crazy, Stupid Love ($19.3 million)

6. Friends with Benefits ($9.3 million)

7. Horrible Bosses ($7.1 million)

8. Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($5.9 million)

9. Zookeeper ($4.2 million)

10. Cars 2 ($2.3 million)


It was supposed to be an easy win for Cowboys & Aliens who had a plethora of talent both in front and behind the camera. And then something happened. Whether it’s the poor reviews or people underestimating the drawing power of another major release, no one seems to care about this Sci-Fi/western that rang up a production bill of $163 million. There’s still hope though, for Super 8 – another Spielberg produced product – opened with the same number and was able to breach the $100 million mark thanks to a long shelf-life. The light promotional strategy Universal Pictures implemented – also in the same vein as Super 8 – may come back to haunt them. As stated by my critical pundits, the flick seemed to think that with the all-star pedigree and a cool concept the title projects, the summer masses would rush to this sucker. Perhaps, the over-saturation of blockbuster – with only half being entertaining – has the popcorn movie-seekers a bit unenthused.

Now The Smurfs tell a totally different story. Already having a built-in fan base from the popular 80s cartoon, the $110 million produced 3D half-animation, half- human product surprised many, considering the critics beat the Smurf out of this. This is a typical scenario where the fam-friendly genre is usually bullet-proof; but once word-of-mouth gets around that this is only visually appealing to the tikes and alienates the generation who grew up with the blue guys; expect Columbia Pictures to struggle earning a theatrical profit.

Out of all the new releases, the flick that is in the best shape is the rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love. Coming in with a somewhat trim budget of $45 million, the opening weekend take along with the overwhelmingly positive word-of-mouth and reviews, should have this hanging around the top ten for a few weeks. Especially since the final month of the summer blockbuster season, August is always a crap-shoot; so there isn’t a ton of direct competition in this genre.

Cars 2 currently has the longest streak in the top ten with 6 weeks. Pixar’s $200 million critical dud has reached $182 million on the domestic front, bringing its worldwide total to just under $360 million. Financailly, the acclaimed “worst Pixar movie” is going to be fine.

Flop Alert: Zookeeper. The Happy Madison production just couldn’t gain any momentum as it won’t even gross its production budget of $80 million.

Sleeper Hit: Horrible Bosses has been highlighted here before, but the rated-R comedy will go over $100 million stateside by next weekend. This cheap thrills product only cost $35 million.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has become the franchises highest grossing domestic film ($318.5 million), finally dethroning 2001’s first entry Sorcerer’s Stone ($317 million). Sorcerer’s Stone is still holding onto the worldwide total mark of $974.8 million, but that should fall to the grand finale in the next day or two, once foreign totals are tallied.

This coming Friday is going to look very familiar to this past weekend’s selection. Audiences will be receiving another Sci-Fi action piece in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Also on tap is another R-rated comedy in The Change-Up. In a limited capacity – two theaters – Oscilloscope Pictures will release the violent drama Bellflower. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

Report by Joe Belcastro

Do not underestimate their cuteness

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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