Sony’s 3-D feature hybrid The Smurfs proved to be a much stronger contender than expected this past weekend, bringing in $36.2 million and tying with DreamWorks/Universal’s Western/sci-fi pic Cowboys & Aliens at the domestic box office. Since the race was too close to call, the final winner will have to be determined on Monday.
The Smurfs, which cost about $110 million to produce was projected to take in anywhere between $25 million and $30 million. Directed by live-action/hybrid pro Raja Gosnell, the film stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays and Hank Azaria as well as Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry and Anton Yelchin in some of the Smurf roles. The team at Sony Animation delivered the film’s impressive CG animation and most of the visual effects.
Other vfx-driven movies still doing well at the box office this week are Paramount and Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger (which passed the $100 million mark) and Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, which also passed the $1 billion mark this weekend to become the top grossing film in the series. Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon is also continuing to do excellent business all over the world, scoring over $983 million globally and becoming the the 10tt top grossing film of all time. Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 is hanging on at No. 10 for the weekend with $2.3 million (bringing its total gross to $182 million).
Here is the U.S. Domestic Top 10 Box Office Chart (Weekend July 29-31, according to studio estimates:
1. The Smurfs - $36.2 million
2. Cowboys & Aliens – $36.2
3. Captain America – $24.9
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part. 2 - $21.9
5. Crazy, Stupid, Love – $19.3
6. Friends with Benefits - $9.3
7. Horrible Bosses - $7.1
8. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $6
9. Zookeeper - $4.2
10. Cars 2 - $2.3