7.29-31.2011: Weekend Box Office – The $

What do the men and women of the Wild West and small blue creatures in New York City have in common?  An near tie at #1 at the box office.  The two new movies of the weekend were estimated to have grossed $36.2 million a piece but Cowboys & Aliens edged out #2 The Smurfs ($35.611 million) by a less than a million in the end.  Even so, Papa Smurf and his village of Smurfs averaged better per theater with $10,489 at 3,395 theaters as opposed to Daniel Craig & Harrison Ford’s $9,715 at 3,750 theaters.  Captain America and Harry Potter continued to tangle after their first meeting the weekend before while the new ensemble comedy #5 Crazy, Stupid, Love with Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and “Seriously, it’s like you’re photoshopped!” Ryan Gosling capped off the last July 2011 weekend box office with $19.104 million.

Cowboys & Aliens wrangled in the #1 spot after a box office battle with The Smurfs, raking in $36.431 million to its estimated $163 million budget.  Although the movies were neck and neck over the three days, the sci-fi Western was able to pull ahead on Saturday and Sunday without the supposed advantage of 3D (about 45% of The Smurfs domestic gross).  Cowboys & Aliens was expected to out-gross its competitors but Westerns are a tough sell even with the star power of Ford, Craig and Olivia Wilde, and Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau in the director seat.  The concept-turned-graphic novel-turned-movie might also suffer from a fun title up against a serious story, making the movie not the first or the last of its genre to run into difficulties with audiences.

The last superhero of the summer, #3, Captain America: The First Avenger, premiered last weekend with surprising results but this weekend, it was unable to capture the same magic in theaters.  Grossing $25.554 million domestically, the Avengers prequel dropped 60.7% at 3,715 theaters, the same number of theaters as in its first weekend.  The foreign box office has seen little of the movie with the majority of overseas premieres only occurring this past Friday and Saturday with no gross reported as of yet.  It is difficult to say what an American superhero will have on international audiences but it has grossed $53.5 million in limited release.

The final eighth wizard movie, #4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, has and is achieving everything fans and filmmakers hoped for in the series finale.  It not only shattered quite a few box office records in its first two weeks but continued to over the weekend.  Part 2 surpassed all previous Potter movies domestically at $318.511 million including The Sorcerer’s Stone, which held the record at $317.575 million for close to 10 years, and just crossed the $1 billion mark at $1.008 billion.  Though it lost a 230 theater count, it grossed $21.997 million this weekend.

Squeezed out by comedies Crazy, Stupid, Love, #6 Friends with Benefits and #7 Horrible Bosses, Transformers: Dark of the Moon fell the hardest from four spots to #8 with $6.086 million.  The sequel was on its way to be the first movie of the year to break $1 billion but was beat out by rival, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 2.  With only five weekends under its belt and showing on theaters at over 60 countries, Dark of the Moon will surely hit $1 billion in the next couple of weeks.

Check out ‘What To Watch – Theater Edition’ this Friday for this week’s new movie releases…the primates have battled, conquested and escaped, and now are rising.

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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