Alien Covenant Wins Weekend

“Alien: Covenant” Makes a Pact with Audiences

BOX OFFICE REPORT

May 19-21, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 5

Alien: Covenant  $36.0 million
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  $35.0 million
Everything, Everything $12.0 million
Snatched  $7.6 million
Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
The Long Haul 
$7.2 million

Despite mixed reviews, Alien: Covenant latched onto audiences. The sixth film in the franchise opened with an estimated $36 million. That was good enough for first place, but well below the $51 million Prometheus debuted with back in 2012. While that may seem to put a damper on a sequel – director Ridley Scott has promised anywhere from one to five more films – worldwide grosses will probably save it.

The latest film in the nearly 40-year-old franchise just barely topped the third weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Marvel sequel made $33 million, just topping $300 million, making it only the second film of 2017 to do so. It should top the original's $333 million before it's all said and done, making it the fifth-biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.

YA adaptation Everything, Everything did respectably as counter-programming. The romance about an immunodeficient girl and the boy who wants to show her the world outside her quarantine took in about $12 million, more than its modest $10 million budget. That's better than you can say for Snatched, which took a 61 percent hit in its second weekend. The film has yet to top its $42 million budget. That's a huge drop-off from 2015's Trainwreck, which earned more than $100 million. Finally, the fourth (yes, fourth) entry in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series – and first in five years – opened at about half of the last film (2012's Dog Days), which probably mean this series is grounded.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Wakefield, the E.L. Doctorow adaptation starring Bryan Cranston. The drama about a man abandoning his family, but still observing them daily, earned $14,120 on its lone screen.
  • Audiences aren't taking to Risk or 3 Generations at all. Both films dropped more than 70 percent in their third weekends. The former – a documentary on Julian Assange from Academy Award winner Laura Poitras – has yet to top $200,000, while the latter hasn't even made $70,000 yet, despite the star power of Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon.
  • Champion isn't living up to its name. The faith-based drama about auto racing made just $87,100 on 31 screens.

Next weekend:

In the summer's first four-day weekend, Baywatch gets a one-day head start on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth movie in the series. It's hard to tell just how much American audiences want another Pirates movie. The last one (On Stranger Tides) debuted six years ago and did worse than the three original films. Yet it also made more than $1 billion worldwide. So I'll hedge my bets a bit and say it will still be No. 1, but with only $45 million. Meanwhile, the R-rated Baywatch will debut with a respectable $30 million.

 

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About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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