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OTRC: 'The Smurfs' and 'Cowboys & Aliens' may tie for top spot at the weekend box office

Neil Patrick Harris appears in a still from 'The Smurfs.' (Sony Pictures Animation)

The little blue Smurfs are proving a tough challenge for box office heavyweights like Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

"Cowboys & Aliens," with Craig, Ford, and Olivia Wilde, is in for a fight to the finish with "The Smurfs" for the top spot at the box office this weekend. Studio estimates have both films earning $36.2 million for the weekend, according to the Associated Press. Actual weekend rankings won't be sorted out until final numbers are counted Monday.

In "The Smurfs," Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays play a human couple living in New York who receive the smurfs after evil wizard Gargamel chases the creatures out of their magical world and into ours. The smurfs try to get back to their village before Gargamel finds them in the Big Apple.

Voicing the smurfs are Katy Perry (Smurfette), Alan Cumming (Gutsy Smurf), Paul "PeeWee Herman" Reubens (Jokey Smurf), "SNL" cast-member Kenan Thompson (Greedy Smurf), comedian Jonathan Winters (Papa Smurf), "The Office" cast-member B.J. Novak (Baker Smurf), comedian Jeff Foxworthy (Handy Smurf), comedian George Lopez (Grouchy Smurf) and professional chef Wolfgang Puck (Chef Smurf).

"Cowboys & Aliens" is set in 1873. Craig plays a loner named Jake, who wakes up one day with no memories. He learns that he is a criminal who is wanted by the likes of Ford's character, Colonel Dolarhyde, the ruler of the town. The two must unite for a greater purpose - to defeat invading aliens. Wilde of the FOX medical drama "House M.D." plays Ella Swenson, a traveler.

Last weekend's box office winner, "Captain America: The First Avenger," slipped to third place with an estimated $24.9 million, which brings its total domestic box office to $116.8 million.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" lands in fourth place with an estimated $21.9 million. The film has become the franchise's top-grossing movie domestically with $318.5 million.

The weekend's other big box office release, the Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling comedy "Crazy Stupid Love," landed in fifth place with $19.3 million.

Check out a trailer for "The Smurfs" below.

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