The tiny blue "Smurfs" battled big-name, big-budget "Cowboys & Aliens" to a surprising tie at the domestic weekend box office with each film ringing up an estimated $36.2 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
"The Smurfs" live-action and animated 3D film drew families to the latest adventure of the classic Belgian cartoon characters and grossed higher-than-expected sales. "Cowboys & Aliens" fell short of pre-release estimates from box-office watchers.
The totals are estimates of ticket sales from United States and Canadian theaters for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The leader will not be known until actual sales are tallied on Monday..
A lower-than-expected total for "Cowboys & Aliens" collided with a bigger draw from "The Smurfs," a movie that revived characters that debuted more than 50 years ago.
Third place for the weekend went to superhero flick "Captain America: The First Avenger" with $24.9 million in domestic ticket sales during its second weekend in theaters.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2," hitting its third weekend, finished fourth with $21.9 million.
"Crazy, Stupid, Love," a new romantic comedy starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore, took the No. 5 spot in the U.S. and Canada with a solid $19.3 million.