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Cowboys & Aliens wins weekend with $36.4M, The Smurfs strong 2nd with $35.6M and Crazy, Stupid, Love fifth with $19.1M

Update: Updated with final box office data.

It was a close race, but Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens came out on top as the weekend’s number one film with $36.431M from 3,750 theaters. Sony’s 3D The Smurfs was second with $35.612M from 3,395 theaters.

Despite not winning the weekend, The Smurfs over-performed (even though it had the added benefit of 3D) while Cowboys & Aliens under-performed. That’s because The Smurfs was expected to take in about $25-30M for the weekend which would have allowed for Cowboys & Aliens to claim the top spot outright with around $40-45M. That, however, obviously didn’t happen.

Instead, both films opened to nearly identical Fridays ($13.087M for Cowboys & Aliens vs. $13.261M for The Smurfs). Cowboys & Aliens increased 1% on Saturday to $13.181M and was down 23% on Sunday to $10.163M. That’s not all that encouraging for the $163M-budgeted Jon Favreau-directed / Steven Spielberg-produced / Daniel Craig/Harrison Ford-starrer. The numbers for The Smurfs break down as follows: -5% on Saturday ($12.610M), -23% on Sunday ($9.741M). Much better for the $110M-budgeted project.

The only other wide-releasing new film this weekend was the Warner Brothers romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love which opened in fifth place with a respectable $19.104M from 3,020 theaters ($6,326 per theater average). That’s slightly above last week’s “Friends with Benefits” ($18.622M / $6,364 per theater average). However, Crazy, Stupid, Love has a higher budget (rumored at $50M vs. $35M for “Friends with Benefits”).

Captain America: The First Avenger fell to third place in its second weekend with $25.554M from 3,715 theaters. The latest Marvel Studios comic book movie dipped a steep 61% for a $117.422M 10-day cume. The film has now fallen behind “Thor” on a comparable basis ($119.455M vs. est. $117.422M) due entirely to its considerably weaker second weekend ($34.703M for “Thor” vs. $25.554M for ‘Captain America’). In fact, up until this Friday ‘Captain America’ had been out-grossing “Thor” day-to-day. ‘Captain America’ has thus far added $49.6M from international markets for $167.022M worldwide.

Rounding out the top five was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in fourth place with $21.977M ($318.512M cume). As previously reported, ‘Deathly Hallows Part 2’ crossed the $1B mark to become the franchise’s top-grossing entry (both domestically and internationally).

Source: Box Office Mojo