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‘Cowboys & Aliens,’ ‘Smurfs’ Open in Tie for Top Film This Week

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- “Cowboys & Aliens,” featuring Daniel Craig as an Old West gunman who battles space invaders, and Sony Corp.’s “The Smurfs” opened in a tie for the top movie in the U.S. and Canada this weekend with each posting $36.2 million in ticket sales.

Last weekend’s leader, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” fell to third place with sales of $24.9 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Cowboys & Aliens” is the third film from Comcast Corp.’s Universal division to open in first place this year, following “Fast Five” and “Hop.” The film, co-produced by Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks SKG and Relativity Media LLC, was expected to have sales of $36 million, the estimate of Brandon Gray, editor of Boxofficemojo.com, an industry website.

“The Smurfs,” combining live action and computer-generated effects, stars Neil Patrick Harris as a New Yorker who helps the tiny, blue creatures after they are forced from their village by an evil wizard. The picture is based on characters from the late cartoonist Pierre Culliford.

Time Warner Inc.’s “Crazy Stupid Love” with Steve Carell collected $19.3 million to open in fifth place.

In the film from Warner Bros., Carell is a straight-laced family man whose life unravels after he discovers that his wife has cheated on him. A younger man, played by Ryan Gosling, guides him through a world of singles bars and flirting women.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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