Sunday, July 31, 2011

COWBOYS AND ALIENS Feeling Blue This Weekend? THE SMURFS Are Neck And Neck!

Well THE SMURFS is a 3D movie so obviously COWBOYS AND ALIENS are a bit handcuffed for winning the box office weekend, but still it is a closer race than I thought would happen.

Both movies are clocking in at $36.2 million, this despite pre-estimates that the western sci-fi mashup would easily win the duel (some pegged them making $45-50m!). They thought that THE SMURFS (estimated at $20m) would be great counter programming. In the end it seems THE SMURFS can be vicious and carnivorous.

THE SMURFS actually smurfed everyone and came out on top for Friday with and estimated $13.4m to COWBOYS AND ALIENS $13m. Kinda stunning.

Personally I thought the marketing for COWBOYS AND ALIENS sucked badly. Folks didn't really know what to expect and that my friends is dangerous. Even Harrison Ford's "Give him to me now, or I'll take him" lacked punch in the trailer. Perhaps Favreau was too intimidated by Ford to push him. Yeah I know, I would be intimidated too when you have to direct Hans Solo, Indiana Jones and the President all rolled into one. I have yet to see it (going VERY soon) but I have my reservations. Plus the fact it SHOULD have been a 3D movie. Favreau just doesn't get that yet. Maybe that's another reason why he backed out of IRON MAN 3 and had no interest in directing THE AVENGERS (though he is Executive Producing).

Now THE SMURFS have hit everything bang on, right from it's cookie cutter, sure-fire family marketing, to an excellent voice cast, to enlisting the talents of Rob Engle (3D Visual Effects Supervisor) and his team at Sony. I'm trying to tee up a conversation with Rob very soon - it's been hard as we just moved yesterday and our lives may be in a new house, but still very much in boxes. Posting this from Starbucks!

So really, why SHOULD I be surprised with this round of box office? Or any of us? :-)

Box office stats courtesy of Box Office Mojo

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Jim Dorey
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