Even though ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ didn’t open as well as expected, sci-fi fans can still be proud of the overall box office with 4 films doing good business.

Studios were furiously adding up box office receipts to see who the true winner was…’Cowboys & Aliens’ or ‘The Smurfs’. Yes sadly, I said ‘The Smurfs’. Unfortunately for moviegoers, the studio executives proved their case this weekend. That case being audiences would rather see a rehashed (and fairly mediocre) television cartoon instead of an interesting and original film. Many have attributed ‘Cowboys’ lower-than-expected opening to the serious tone of the film. Some have suggested maybe a more ‘Indiana Jones’ type of vibe would have worked better. You can see how our writer Josh felt about it at our ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ review.

Both films were tied at $36.2 million for the weekend, but fans of original science fiction can breathe a sigh of relief now that ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ has edged out ‘The Smurfs’ for the top spot at the box office this past weekend. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ took in $36.4 million compared to ‘The Smurfs’ $35.6 million. Distributor Universal had initially predicted a $40-45 million bow for ‘Cowboys’, but downgraded their estimate at the last minute this week, shooting for $35-40 million. Typically adult films do their best business on Fridays, where as a kid film such as ‘The Smurfs’ get a bump on Saturdays because parents have to take the kids to the movies. There are still a number of potentially interesting original sci-fi films debuting this year (‘In Time’, ‘Apollo 18’, ‘Real Steel’). Let’s hope they do better than ‘Cowboys’ debut. Although, keep in mind, ‘Cowboys’ hasn’t debuted international yet.

On to the rest.

Coming in 3rd is ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. The heroic film took in an additional $24.9 million bringing its’ domestic total to $116.7 million and its’ worldwide total to $170.2 million. Its total box office still has a lot of room to grow considering the film hasn’t even opened in a lot of international territories yet.

Placing 4th, the beast that is ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ waved its wand for another $21.9 million. This weekend saw the wizard cross the $1 billion mark with little sign of slowing down. The eight ‘Potter’ films have now grossed $7.4 billion with the latest being the only one to cross the $1 billion mark.

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ pulled in another $5.9 million bringing its domestic total to $337.8 million and its worldwide box office total to $982.8 million. It’s now close enough that it could cross the $1 billion mark in the next few weeks.

1. ‘Cowboys & Aliens’  $36.4 million
2. ‘The Smurfs’  $35.6 million
3. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’  $24.9 million
4. ‘Harry Potter & TDH Part 2’  $21.9 million
5. ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love  $19.3 million
6. ‘Friends With Benefits’  $9.3 million
7. ‘Horrible Bosses  $7.1 million
8. ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon  $5.9 million
9. ‘Zookeeper’  $4.2 million
10. ‘Cars 2’  $2.3 million