Box Office Shocker: ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Gets Smurfed
Never underestimate a kids movie full of fart humor! Did you see either of these movies? Personally I did not yet, but I will avoid my little blue friends despite the nostalgia. Neither received overall great reviews from critics, with The Smurfs coming out worse for wear with them.
In one of the biggest box office upsets in recent memory, Sony’s kids pic The Smurfs tied with DreamWorks/Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens tie for No. 1 at $36.2 million each. The winner won’t be decided until Monday morning.
Heading into the weekend, Cowboys held a wide lead over the competition, according to tracking. Universal itself believed the movie, directed by Jon Favreau, would open in the $40 million to $45 million range.
Smurfs, meanwhile, was only expected to open in the $25 million to $30 million range.
One trouble spot for Cowboys, starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, was a tepid turnout by younger moviegoers. A full 75% of the audience was over the age of 25, and 39%, over the age of 60.
That was always a risk, considering the film is a blend of two genres: Westerns, which skew older, and sci-fi.
Cowboys, which received a B CinemaScore, couldn’t have better pedigree. Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks oversaw production and co-financed the $163 million pic with Universal and Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment also produced the film.
The film’s financial success will depend upon good legs and a top performance overseas, where it is rolling out slowly.
Smurfs cost $110 million to produce, and is the latest entry in the CGI/live-action market. The pic received an A- CinemaScore, and A among moviegoers under the age of 18