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    August 1, 2011

    BOX OFFICE NEWS JULY 29 - JULY 31, 2011

    Just like last week, this week's box office report is definitely not what we have been predicting over the past few weeks. While many has predicted that Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens to open at the pole position with a healthy margin over fellow openers like The Smurfs 3D and Crazy, Stupid, Love, this was not the case at the final estimated result. Indeed, in the recent memory there were not many movies that open neck-to-neck for the top spot in one particular weekend, thus explained the such rarity in occurrence for such to happen. Nevertheless, at an estimated $36.2 million apiece, Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs are headed for a photo finish for the weekend top spot. The real winner will only be determined on late Monday.

    Both Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs 3D opened on Friday and their estimated daily grosses were nothing but a tight race over the whole weekend. Smurfs led on Friday with an estimated $13.40 million opening versus Cowboys' $12.99 million, but Cowboys pulled ahead on Saturday, $13.07 million to $12.70 million. Cowboys' distributor Universal Pictures projected $10.14 million on Sunday, while Smurfs' distributor Sony Picture projected $10.10 million, leading to both movies garnering $36.2 million estimates.

    Universal's Cowboys & Aliens opened from 5,500 screens at 3,750 locations but the amount grossed was mediocre at best. One of the possible factors why the movie failed to deliver a much bigger number could have been because of its critical reviews. The reviews for the hybrid Westerns have not been kind and possibly it has out-shunned by many of its potential target audiences in the coming days. The second factor could have been due to its year-long marketing campaign which just get deflated in the recent months. The first teaser opened to great response but subsequently, the marketing didn't highlighted much more to make audiences sold. Nevertheless, Universal's exit polling indicated that 53 percent of Cowboys' audience was male and 63 percent was age 30 years and older.

    Sony's The Smurf took on a rather formulaic marketing strategy. Talking critters, 3D and headlined by large crops of recognizable casts were still the best formula to go for this kind of movies. Playing on around 5,300 screens at 3,395 locations, The Smurfs out-grossed G-Force's $31.7 million from the same weekend in 2009 and nearly tripled Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore's $12.3 million from the same weekend last year. 45% of The Smurf's business was from the 3D department. Sony's research showed that 65 percent of Smurfs' audience was parents (40 percent) and their children under 12 years old (25 percent). Overall, the audience breakdown was 64 percent female and 55 percent age 25 years and older.

    Another fellow opener, Crazy, Stupid, Love grossed an estimated $19.3 million from 3,300 screens at 3,020 locations. It was a comparably good result for the Warner Bros' movie as it performed better than recent romantic comedy like Larry Crowne, although it opened lower than other Steve Carell's movies. Distributor Warner Bros. noted that Crazy's audience was 64 percent female and 71 percent age 25 years and older.

    In another development, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows crossed over the triple-century marks after 17 days while its oversea's grosses soared past the billion mark. Transformers: Dark of the Moon was hot in pursue for the billion dollar club as well.

    The rest of the week's box office looks like this and is based on studio's estimated data:

    Rank Title Weekend Gross ($) Change (%) Total Gross ($)
    1 COWBOYS & ALIENS 36,200,000 NEW 36,200,000
    2 THE SMURFS 36,200,000 NEW 36,200,000
    3 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER 24,905,000 -61.7 116,772,000
    21,925,000 -53.8 318,460,000
    5 CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE19,300,000 NEW 19,300,000
    6 FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS 9,300,000 -50.1 38,200,000
    7 HORRIBLE BOSSES 7,100,000 -40.3 96,202,000
    8 TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON 5,970,000 -50.5 337,892,000
    9 ZOOKEEPER 4,200,000 -51.7 68,731,000
    10 CARS 2 2,301,000 -59.3 182,070,000
    11 WINNIE THE POOH 1,751,000 -66.1 22,409,000
    12 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS 1,220,000 -32.4 44,915,000
    *Note: All figures are ESTIMATED grosses. Courtesy of BOX OFFICE MOJO
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