A 7.14 L.A. Times “24 Frames” report about a USC Twitter box-office prediction lab contains the following excerpt: “Cowboys and Aliens, [a] superhero movie opening in about two weeks, is barely registering with audiences on Twitter, a fact that doesn’t bode well for its box office potential, according to Jonathan Taplin, communication professor at USC and director of the lab. ‘It’s almost imperceptible the amount of tweets on it, and that’s unusual,’ Taplin said.”

The size of the Cowboys & Aliens balloon is awfully small. It’s about the same size as the one for Crazy Stupid Love, and a tad smaller than the Larry Crowne balloon. Which I’m rather surprised at. I’d been presuming all along that the Joe Popcorn legions would pour into theatres to see this thing, the concept being novel and amusing plus Daniel Craig paired with Harrison Ford, etc. Maybe people are just slow on the uptake? They don’t wake up to a non-sequel until it’s a few days off?

Boxoffice.com’s Phil Contrino is predicting a $33 million opening and a $90 million cume.

I have to say that I’m not very impressed with the sequence below, in which Craig tries to save Olivia Wilde from the clutches of a dragonfly alien craft. There’s no apparent reason for the craft to fly at a low altitude above a sunken river bed. And there’s no way that Craig could leap off his galloping horse and hope to land on the wing of the craft, which is a good 15 to 20 feet away. It just seems cheesy.

An overheard observation: “You see Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in a western and it’s a movie you want to see…then aliens come in.”