“Cowboys & Aliens” has beaten back “The Smurfs” to win a squeaker at the weekend box office.
According to final studio counts Monday, the sci-fi Western took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts with a $36.4 million debut.
That puts Universal Pictures’ “Cowboys&Aliens” $800,000 ahead of Sony’s family adventure “The Smurfs,” which finished at No. 2 with $35.6 million over opening weekend.
Sunday estimates had the two movies in a tie for the No. 1 spot at $36.2 million each.
Last week, box-office analysts had expected “Cowboys & Aliens” would be the clear winner over the weekend. But the Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford action tale opened weaker than anticipated, while “The Smurfs” had a stronger debut than forecast.