The latest installment of the ALIEN series opened domestically over the weekend and creator Ridley Scott has made it known that he is aiming for a franchise in line with the size and scope of the STAR WARS series. That is a tall order, not least of which is the fact that the ALIEN movies’ “R” ratings (only ALIEN VS PREDATOR was PG-13) limit the possible audience. There is also the fact that the grim and violent ALIEN plot lines are just not everyone’s cup of tea.
The latter point was evident in this installment’s opening weekend returns. ALIEN: COVENANT grossed $36 million, enough to barely beat GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2, but down $15 million from PROMETHEUS, the previous entry. COVENANT’s budget is over $30 million lower, but this still represents a disappointment for 20th Century Fox and suggests that the series may only be good for one or two more movies at best. International grosses are somewhat better, but not anywhere near blockbuster range.
As mentioned, GUARDIANS finished second with $35.1 million. Counter programming served up surprising results as the small scale teen picture EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING pulled in $12 million, which is $2 million more than its production costs. The Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn laugher SNATCHED plummeted 61%, indicating that it won’t have nearly the lifespan of Schumer’s TRAINWRECK. The results are doubly disappointing for Fox when you consider how few comedies there are in release at the moment.
Speaking of underperforming franchises, Fox’s DAIRY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL utterly tanked with only $7.2 million. KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD dropped 55% and overseas grosses have not been robust enough to suggest that Warner Brothers can count on them to bring the movie out of the red.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is next weekend’s big entry and also a big question mark. The franchise is showing its age and Johnny Depp’s box office appeal has slipped in recent years. However, if the movie does bomb, Disney can more than handle the losses.
Data courtesy of Box Office Mojo.