Smurfs, Aliens battle at box office
Little blue Smurfs and not-so-little green men from space are in a photo finish for the number one spot at the weekend box office in the US.
Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford's sci-fi Western Cowboys And Aliens and the family adventure The Smurfs both opened with 36.2 million dollars, according to studio estimates.
That leaves Sony's Smurfs and Universal's Cowboys And Aliens tied for the top spot. Figuring out the number one movie will have to wait until final numbers are counted today.
"In all my years, I've never really seen a race this close," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "Generally, in the world of movie box office, one million dollars is a close call, so to have two films in a dollar-to-dollar tie is somewhat unprecedented."
Studios jockey for the top box-office spot to earn "number one film in America" bragging rights in advertising for the coming week.
Cowboys And Aliens stars Craig as an amnesiac wanderer who teams with cattle baron Ford to take on hulking aliens that invade a town in the Old West.
The Smurfs brings the blue cartoon creatures to the big screen, with a voice and live-action cast that includes Katy Perry, Hank Azaria, George Lopez and Neil Patrick Harris.
The weekend's other new wide release, the Warner Bros romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, opened modestly at number five with 19.3 million dollars. The movie stars Steve Carell as a one-woman man who learns the art of seduction from a playboy (Ryan Gosling) after his marriage falls apart.