According to current box office estimates, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant narrowly beat out another set of “aliens” in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with a weekend gross of $36 million dollars. Last week’s champ (Guardians) finished with just over $35 million at the weekend box office, ending their two week reign in the top spot.
While the win is a positive for the new Alien film, it did not bring in the estimated $40-$45 million that most tracking agencies predicted. In fact, the much maligned Prometheus brought in $15 million more than Covenant with a total of $51 million in its first weekend in 2012. Couple this with a summer packed with a new blockbuster or two every weekend until mid-August, and Covenant may not last long at your local theater.
20th Century Fox’s decision to move Aliens: Covenant smack dab into the middle of the summer”feeding frenzy” has to be questioned if the film does not have an extended (and profitable) run at the box office. The film was originally scheduled for an August release date, one with far less competition than it will have to contend with at this point in the season. In the next two weeks alone, theater owners around the country will have to make some tough choices regarding screen counts with the arrival of Baywatch, Pirates of The Caribbean Five: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Wonder Woman. Even if one, or all, of these films under perform, they will take screens away from Alien: Covenant, hurting chances for a series of potential sequels that Scott discussed in March.
Critics have been kind to film (and HNN’s own Larry Dwyer also gave it a “thumbs up” on facebook) with Rotten Tomatoes totaling the Alien: Covenant percentage at 73%, but this may be to late to help the film find a larger audience. If you wish to see Alien: Covenant on the big screen, you may unfortunately only have a month or so left.
Stay tuned for more information on a busy summer for horror films and check out our preview here.