‘Smurfs,’ ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ tie at box office

“Cowboys & Aliens” had the heft of two popular genres going for it.

The film, one of the most expensive movies to be released this year, also boasted two A-list actors in veterans Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. And it had two Hollywood bigwigs behind the camera — Steven Spielberg as executive producer and “Iron Man’s” Jon Favreau as director, who in recent weeks has been exhaustively promoting the movie. And it was received well by the fanboy audience at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where it premiered late last month.

But rather than opening to twice the success, the film had disappointing ticket sales this weekend. In a surprise, “The Smurfs” — a critically panned live-action/computer-animated hybrid movie based on characters that originated more than 50 years ago — grossed far more than pre-release polling had indicated. As a result, on Sunday the studios behind the pictures estimated that each film would collect $36.2 million domestically by weekend’s end. Meanwhile, the weekend’s other new wide release, the adult romantic comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” brought in a decent $19.3 million.

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