The final weekend of July 2011 has sparked a completely unpredictable outcome. As of right now, both Cowboys and Aliens and The Smurfs have made an equal amount of profit at this moment, defeating last week’s number one Captain America while drawing in the estimated $36.2 million. A close run throughout the weekend, Cowboys and Aliens is being given number one in the box office by Box Office Mojo.

Typically, original is a rare gift given from studios to audiences, but in the case of Cowboys and Aliens, I think the entire idea—as mentioned in the title—is simply too silly to accept as a real movie. It sounds more like some exploitation B movie, that should offer a few gallons of fake blood and strippers rather than something Spielberg would be involved with. Even stars the likes of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford couldn’t sell audiences enough to dissuade them from viewing possibly the worst children’s film ever forced into cinema, making exactly as much money as equally silly The Smurfs.  

Indeed, a superhero film is plenty more logical than Cowboys and Aliens. At least with the former, we understand the dynamics of the genre, and have certain expectations which allow us to accept the prerequisites of enjoying a superhero film. As for the latter? The best science fiction includes touches of reality in it, typically with a criticism of real life somehow. The best western film concerns the humanity and conditions of the era, i.e. Unforgiven. But together, they shatter each other’s potential for any sense of meaning or even entertainment. I’m guessing the majority of those enjoying Cowboys and Aliens relish in impressive visual effects.

Meanwhile, The Smurfs is the only film of its kind out right now, and considering the last children’s film to have any success in a month was Cars 2 (which could best be summed up as unnecessary), children have taken to the theatres just enough to push an unworthy film to the top of the box office with Cowboys and Aliens. Hop lasted two weekends, but I thought that was on holiday fuel.

This new integrated film has nothing going for it but a dry spell. In fact, I don’t think any word could describe this weekend any better than “brainless”. If only studios today didn’t make so much money, maybe they could feel bad about what they are giving audiences. But then what could we expect from the director of Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Maybe The Smurfs may have worked as an animated film, but no such luck these days. They still managed to put it in 3D, too.

Next week will be the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which should take number one. Loyal fans to the series will return to see this new, fairly high-budget prequel starring familiar faces. Since Tim Burton gutted the series with his awful, awful, awful, devastating Planet of the Apes back in 2001, I think fans have been begging for a real return to the planet of the apes.

Meanwhile, The Change-Up should take third, since hopefully we are all tired of that story. But I am consistently let down by today’s audiences, so it will do much battle with The Smurfs for second. I see Cowboys and Aliens taking a drop to fourth, leaving Captain America to fall to fifth.

Weekend Box Office

July 31, 2011

Rank                                                                                               Weekend Gross            Total Gross

1

 

Cowboys & Aliens  

$36,200,000

 

 

 

 

$36,200,000

 

 

2

 

The Smurfs  

$36,200,000

 

 

 

 

$36,200,000

 

 

3

 

Captain America: The First Avenger  

$24,905,000

 

 

 

 

$116,772,000

 

 

4

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  

$21,925,000

 

 

 

 

$318,460,000

 

 

5

 

Crazy, Stupid, Love.  

$19,300,000

 

 

 

 

$19,300,000

 

 

6

 

Friends with Benefits  

$9,300,000

 

 

 

 

$38,200,000

 

 

7

 

Horrible Bosses  

$7,100,000

 

 

 

 

$96,202,000

 

 

8

 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon  

$5,970,000

 

 

 

 

$337,892,000

 

 

9

 

Zookeeper  

$4,200,000

 

 

 

 

$68,731,000

 

 

10

 

Cars 2  

$2,301,000

 

 

 

 

$182,070,000