Who would have thought before this weekend that the box office would have so close between a 1980s cartoon revival and a much-hyped summer blockbuster? Well, it’s definitely happening courtesy of “The Smurfs” surprising, and “Cowboys & Aliens” underwhelming. At this point in time, the race for #1 is too close to call between the two.
While these numbers will likely end up changing throughout the day, for now the two films appear to be stuck around $36.2 million for the weekend. Really, the success of one movie and the disappointment from the other can really be attributed to two things — demographics and reception. “The Smurfs” had a rather large audience of children and families, and kids under the age of 18 reportedly gave the movie a Cinemascore of A. Meanwhile, 75% of the “Cowboys” audience was over the age of 25 (which makes sense considering the film stars Harrison Ford), and its audience rating was only a B. (The irony here is that reviews for “Cowboys” were mixed by critics, while “The Smurfs” received a thrashing that director Raja Gosnell knows well thanks to the reviews for the “Scooby-Doo” series.)
While not as much of a headline, it is worth noting that the romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love” got off to a great start with $19.3 million. While this only puts it at #5 thanks to “Captain America” and “Harry Potter,” this movie has the smallest budget to recoup out of any movies in the top five. (While “Smurfs” may break even domestically, “Cowboys” is going to have to rely on some strong overseas numbers to make back its $163 million budget.)
What did you see this weekend?