This was a weekend of strange creatures warring with each other and, though they don't seem remotely evenly matched, they actually kind of are! Also, Miranda July has done well for herself, as has Emma Stone.
1) Cowboys & Aliens — $36.2M
Giddy up there pardner, and take me to your leader. And your leader is Cowboys & Aliens. (Sort of.) Though, shouldn't your leader be a little further ahead of the pack this manic Monday morning? I mean, given that it's like the Iron Man guy directing the James Bond guy and the Star Jones guy (Star Wars + Indiana Jones = Star Jones) in a big blow-'em-up that also has that hot girl from hot things? It also cost almost $200 million to make, so this is sort of a disappointment. The folks at EW note that the majority of audience members were over 30 so maybe youngsters were scared off by the Western theme? Exit polling wasn't that high, so this could prove to be something of a flop! Who knows! I still kind of want to see it. It looks good, that part where the aliens shoot the cowboys. Oh also that part where the cowboys shoot the aliens? That looks kind of good too. I wonder if there are any parts where the cowboys and the aliens shoot each other at the same time? Probably not. That's probably asking too much. Actually, that's probably why the exit polling wasn't good (meaning word-of-mouth won't be good). "Yeah, it was fun. But I really wish they'd shot at each at the same time at some point. Oh well. C'mon, Darla. Let's go see Smurfs." (Darla is the name of every guy who answers a movie poll but doesn't let his girlfriend answer the poll's girlfriend.)
2) The Smurfs — $36.2M
"Are smurfing with me, Richard? Do you have the smurfs to smurf with me? Because I will mothersmurfing kill you, you smurf-sucking son of a smurf. If you are smurfing with me, I will rip off your smurfs and shove them up your smurf so smurfing hard you'll be smurfing out your mouth for the rest of your smurfing life. I will smurfing end you, smurfer. I will whip out my smurf and smurf all over your dead corpse. And then I will smurf-off and smurf on you, if you are smurfing with me right now." - You, upon reading that there are two number one movies this weekend. But I swear, I am not smurfing with you! Right now, before the actual figures are in (these are all just rough estimates), Cowboys & Aliens and The Smurfs are tied. But actually, right now, I should put Smurfs at the top. Because this smurf-guzzling piece of smurf actually had a higher per-screen average than the cowbinx and the aliwinx. Now that is embarrassing, Jon Favreau and company. Not the so-so audience polling, not the fact that your movie is called Cowboys & Aliens and about same. It's that The Smurfs, starring Neil Patrick Smuggerton and the brain-addled McLean's escapee from Glee, had a higher per screen average than your stinking movie. That's what's embarrassing. For you and, oddly, for us as a nation. Go smurf yourselves, everyone. Smurf yourselves so hard you shoot smurf out of your smurf.
3) Captain America: Pecs In the City — $24.9M
Dropping a somewhat precipitous 60%, Captain Joe Schmo and the Jingo Club is only performing all right. I mean, it's no Green Lantern, it's certainly doing better than Green Lantern, thank god, but it's also no Smurfs. Hahahah. It's certainly no Smurfs. But yeah, basically the important thing is that Sergeant Flag Fart and the Fireworks is doing well enough to further justify this Avengers movie that's coming out next summer. That's the important thing. I mean, everyone's going to be so sick of these stupid characters (except you, Thor. You are not stupid, not at all, so come wrap me in those big godlike arms of yours and smurf me) by then, but it ought to still do OK. Plus, Joss Whedon is directing! Which is very exciting! And hopefully means it will be halfway decent. But, yeah. That's that. Doctor Ohio and the Spangled Banners, ladies and gentlemen.
5) Crazy Stupid Love — $19.3M
This well-reviewed little movie did well! Good for this movie. Did you know that this movie not only doesn't have any cowboys or aliens or Smurfs in it, it doesn't even have any explosions. Yup. I mean, there are explosions of emotion I'm sure. And explosions of silliness!! Hyuk, hyuk. But no fire explosions. None of them. And, going by the PG-13 rating, I'm guessing that it doesn't have a lot of swears like a lot of this summer's popular swear-based comedies did (see: The Hungover Bad Teacher's Horrible Boss With Benefits — actually, don't see it). So it's pretty amazing that this movie did this well in the summrahtime. Everyone should be proud of themselves. Especially Emma Stone. This is her second movie of the summer (she's in People Who Try to Have Casual Sex Together But Then Realize That Sex Can Often Come With Emotion Attached So They Make a Go of a Relationship at the End of the Movie) and not her last! She's got the big starring role in The Help coming out in a couple weeks. So she is pretty hot right now. Maybe she should tell that Harrison Ford how movies should be made. He could use the advice, it seems.
39) The Future — $28.2K
Only showing at one theater (IFC on 6th Ave.), Miranda July's new weirdo movie had the highest per-screen average of the weekend, by a fairly wide margin. So good for her! Good for weirdos. I know lots of people really don't like her, and there are definitely some things I find a little annoying or too on-the-nose about her, but all told I think she's an interesting and creative lady who often says some smart/sad things about a particular corner of modern livin'. So I like her! If you've only seen Me and You and Everyone We Know and don't like her, maybe read No One Belongs Here More Than You (she was on a long titles kick at the time, it seems) and it could change your mind. There's one especially good story in there about a girl working at a peep show. (Hey, that reminds me! Buy this!) Anyway, like her or not, Miranda July is doing well. And there's not a smurfdamn thing you can do about it.