Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant topped the Friday box office with $15.4 million from 3,760 theaters, putting the sci-fi thriller on course to earn $40 million in its North American launch.
The movie will easily rocket past holdover Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to win the weekend box-office race, even though it is coming in on the low end of expectations.
Scott’s second installment in the Alien prequel franchise, from Fox, cost $97 million to make. In June 2012, the first prequel, Prometheus, debuted to $51.5 million domestically.
Alien: Covenant features an ensemble cast led by Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. This time out, the crew of the colony ship Covenant think they have discovered paradise, only to encounter hostile and dangerous alien forces. The movie has generally been embraced by critics, but earned only a B CinemaScore from audiences.
Disney and Marvel’s global Goliath, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which has stayed atop the chart for the past two weekends, remains a formidable force. The superhero sequel earned $8.8 million Friday from 4,347 theaters for an estimated $33 million weekend, putting its domestic total at $300 million through Sunday and global haul north of $700 million.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros. and MGM is bowing YA romance drama Everything, Everything which is projected to place third behind Alien and Guardians Vol. 2 with an estimated $12.6 million from 2,801 locations. The film grossed $4.7 million Friday.
Based on Nicola Yoon’s best-selling 2015 novel about an 18-year-old girl who can’t leave her home because of a mysterious immune disorder, the $10 million film is targeting over tween and teen girls. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson star in Everything, Everything, which is coming in on the higher end of expectations after snagging an A- CinemaScore.
Fox is on double duty this weekend in terms of opening new films, between Alien: Covenant and reboot Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul based on the popular kids’ book series.
Wimpy Kid: Long Haul is lagging, however, and may only gross $7 million from 3,157 theaters after earning roughly $2 million Friday. The movie, earning a B CinemaScore, is going after moviegoers between the ages of 6 and 12.