Film CHUD Pred Weekend Per Total
1 Cowboys & Aliens
$38.5 (+2.1m) $36,431,290 $9,715 $36,431,290
2 The Smurfs
$28.5 (-7.1m) $35,611,637 $10,489 $35,611,637
3 Captain America
$29 (+3.4m) $25,554,303 (-61%) $6,879 $117,421,571
4 Harry Potter 7.2
$24 (-2m) $21,977,093 (-54%) $6,326 $318,511,602
5 Crazy Stupid Love $18 (-1.1m) $19,104,303 $3,170 $19,104,303
6 Friends With Benefits
$9,275,692 (-50%) $3,326 $38,175,973
7 Horrible Bosses
$7,189,365 (-40%) $2,864 $96,290,917
8 Transformers 3
$6,086,311 (-49%) $2,337 $338,007,725
9 Zookeeper
$4,301,893 (-51%) $1,779 $68,832,733
10 Cars 2
$2,349,142 (-58%) $1,332 $182,118,690

Avg. CHUD Prediction Difference: +/- $3.14m

I have to be honest, when the estimates came out and it was neck and neck for Smurfs and Cowboys, I figured the unpredictable Sunday kids bump might push the blue dudes out front. Universal can downgrade their Monday from “heart attack” to “mild heart incident” now that they at least get to boast “#1 Across the country!” after a Sunday of short breath and sweat. Sony doesn’t get an unexpected title for The Smurfs, but they most certainly get a win with a film that eluded all attempts at tracking (as is often the case with kids films- scanning machines have trouble counting dots on “how likely are you to see this opening weekend?” questionnaires when the bubbles are filled with crayon. This is definitely a good aberration for Sony, and further proof that classic kids properties brought into the new age with CGI/live-action hybrid films are good investments. This isn’t quite the opening of say, Alvin and the Chipmunks ($44m), but I wouldn’t be shocked to be predicting totals for a third Smurfs film in 2015. Seeing as The Smurfs managed to be relatively savvy about being a pandering kids film (I’d see it twice before I’d watch Zookeeper again), the word-of-mouth should give it good legs.

On that note, I doubt I’ll ever be writing about a Cowboys & Aliens film again, unless they somehow manage a Cowboys & Smurfs crossover with Sony for the next time around. Despite Favreau, Spielberg, Howard, Daniel Craig, and Harrison Ford all being out front of a romping genre mashup, something went wrong. I’m banking on audiences having picked up on how goddamn bland the movie is, but there are some folks who enjoyed the film so there are certainly other potential reasons. Reason it out as much as you like, but it’s going to sting for all involved.

The other alien film that released this weekend (and geek darling story for months), Attack the Block, could also have used a more auspicious debut, but an eight-theater $140k opening for a film that cost little and has already made cash overseas is hardly comparable. The film did decent business, with better theater averages than the big blockbusters in the mere eight cities it was open. It should continue to platform, and hopefully catch on, since it’s an undeniable crowd-pleaser. There are suggestions that it would have done better without the dozens of free screenings across the last few months, but that’s a specious argument at best. The handful of people among those screenings that would have paid for the film out-of-the-blue are definitely a worthy trade for the accumulated buzz. This will be one to keep an eye on, and my fingers are crossed that it rises up the list proportional to its theater count. The film will expand to 6 new markets (including one chosen by fans, starting at 6pm Est on the FB page apparently), and we’ll see if it builds on its second week, or if this blip was all that was in the cards in the US for one of the best fucking films of the year.

Captain took a pretty steep fall that is understandable at this point in the year and with such competition, but considering how much the big flashy new blockbuster underperformed, Captain certainly did nothing to capitalize on that with a more slighter decline.  The good news is that days have been better, so a second weekend nearly $10m short of Thor leaves Cap with a total domestic gross only $2m shy. If it can level out at all from this point on, then there’s no reason for Marvel to sweat. I have a feeling they’re really going to get tight on the purse strings with the future installments of the B-listers though. That said, they’ve got a pretty stellar track record of breaking into 9-figures with

Crazy Stupid Love made the money that rom-coms often make, putting it at the bottom of the top 5. The good casting and less shallow tone should give it better legs, even if its mature veneer hides a film full of Hollywood’s batshit concepts of how family and relationships ideally work.

Potter crossed a billion, and Transformers isn’t far behind. Fuck a front-load, you can’t take shit away from either of them.

Next week I’ll throw poop at the wall and see what sticks. How else do you predict for another Planet of the Apes reboot, this time with a mo-cap main character?

Cheers till then.

The thread in which you talk about this stuff.