The weekend before Memorial Day can often be a great weekend for a huge summer blockbuster, as that’s where three of the eight Star Wars movies were released, but it didn’t work quite as well for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant from 20th Century Fox, which was moved to this date earlier in the year.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup, Demian Bechir and more, Alien: Covenant opened on Friday with $15.3 million in 3,716 theaters, including $4.2 million from Thursday previews. For the weekend, it’s grossed an estimated $36 million, which is $15 million less than the $51 opening for Scott’s previous Alien movie, Prometheus, five years ago. That’s also less than the $38 million opening for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator in 2004, with $2 million of that amount coming from 103 domestic IMAX screens. With a moderate B CinemaScore, it seems like audiences were as mixed on the movie as ComingSoon.net’s own critics.
Last weekend, Alien: Covenant took in $42 million overseas in 34 markets, though many of the territories were down from 2012’s Prometheus. It expanded to 52 new international territories to add another $30.3 million overseas from 12,850 screens. It was #1 in Russia with $4.4 million, Germany with $2.3 million, while remaining #1 in some of the previous territories. It has grossed $81.8 million internationally with two of the biggest markets, China and Japan, still to come.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios‘ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, directed by James Gunn, dropped to second place as it passed the $300 million milestone domestically. Its $35.1 million third weekend is close enough to Alien: Covenant that we could see a photo finish when weekend actuals come in. With $301.8 million domestically, it’s just $32 million away from the domestic gross of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and it could surpass it by month’s end.
Guardians Vol. 2 added another $28 million to bring its overseas total to $431 million and a global total of $732.6 million. It needs $50 million more to achieve the global box office of the previous movie.
Based on Nicola Yoon’s novel, MGM and Warner Bros.‘ Everything, Everything, starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, opened in third place with an estimated $12 million in 2,801 theaters, averaging a respectable $4,282 per theater. That’s lower than the $18.7 million opening for the studio’s 2016 summer release Me Before You, but it’s better than other similar young adult romance films.
The Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn action-comedy Snatched (20th Century Fox) took a deep plunge in the weekend following Mother’s Day, down 61% for a second weekend of $7.6 million to take fourth place. So far, it has grossed $32.8 million.
If anyone needs proof why studios rarely release two movies in the same weekend, then they just need to look at 20th Century Fox’s second release for the weekend, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth installment in that franchise based on Jeff Kinney’s books and the first new movie in five years.
Returning director David Bowers completely recast the movie with Jason Drucker, Charlie Wright, Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott, which may have been necessary, since the actor who played Greg had “aged out,” but it probably didn’t help. The fifth movie opened meekly with just $7.2 million in 3,129 theaters to take fifth place. That’s almost exactly half the opening weekend for 2012’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and with a B CinemaScore, it’s very likely that this is the last we see of this Fox franchise.
Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Warner Bros.), starring Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou, also took a tumble in its second weekend, dropping to seventh place with $6.9 million, down 55% from its opening weekend. With just $27 million grossed in its first ten days, it’s not looking like King Arthur will have much staying power with bigger movies being released the next few weeks.
Seventh and eighth place were taken by Universal’s hit franchise The Fate of the Furious with $3.1 million and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby with just under $3 million. Of the two, only the former has crossed the $200 million mark with $219 million so far.
Another Disney movie close to hitting a milestone is their mega-blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, which edges closer to $500 million domestic gross with $2.4 million added this weekend. It’s likely to remain the 8th highest North American grosser behind the two most recent Star Wars movies and Marvel’s Avengers, as far as Disney’s biggest box office hits.
Opening in a single theater in New York, IFC Films’ Wakefield, starring Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner, took in $14,000, while the Steve James doc Abacus: Small Enough to Jail did just a little bit less than that, also in one theater.