'Alien: Covenant' Narrowly Edges Out 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' To Top Weekend Box Office
by Brad Brevet
May 21, 2017
It's a tight race at the top as weekend estimates have Alien: Covenant holding a narrow lead over Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the #1 spot at the weekend box office. Considering Guardians has been underestimated the past two weekends by $1.46 million and $2.25 million, tomorrow afternoon's actuals will be something to look out for as less than $1 million separates the two films. Meanwhile, WB and MGM's Everything, Everything delivered on the high end of industry expectations while Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul will be looking to next weekend, hoping the upcoming four-day holiday will improve what was a rather weak debut.
At #1, Fox's Alien: Covenant debuted with an estimated $36 million, nearly 43% of which came from its Friday performance, which included $4.2 million from Thursday previews. An opening less than $40 million is somewhat disappointing considering the $51 million opening for its predecessor, Prometheus, five years ago. Yet, the $97 million budget for Covenant compared to the $130m spent on Prometheus works in the film's favor as does the fact more than 68% of Prometheus's $403.4 million global total came from overseas markets, which is where Covenant will be hoping to make up some ground.
Internationally, Covenant got its start last weekend and this weekend it brought in an estimated $30.3 million from 76 markets bringing its international total to $81.8 million for a global cume of $117.8 million. Openings this weekend included Russia ($4.4m), Germany ($2.3m) and Sweden ($822K). The film doesn't debut in China until mid-June.
As for the demographics, opening day audiences gave Alien: Covenant a "B" CinemaScore. Of that audience, 62% were male vs. 38% female, of which 66% were 25 years or older and 51% of the audience was Caucasian, 19% Hispanic, 15% African American and 9% Asian.
In second is Disney and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which topped $300 million domestically this weekend with an estimated $35.1 million, only a 46% drop compared to last weekend. Internationally, the film is now up to $431 million, 19% ahead of the total run of Guardians of the Galaxy at today's exchange rates. The global cume as of today currently stands at an estimated $732.6 million.
In third is WB and MGM's Everything, Everything, which proved Mojo's forecast was way too low as it brought in an estimated $12 million, which is at the high end of industry expectations for the weekend. Opening day audiences took to the film as it earned an "A-" CinemaScore, a grade, unsurprisingly, largely driven by the female audience, which made up 82% of the opening weekend crowd. Overall, 74% of the audience was under the age of 25 and only 18% over the age of 35. The film carries a reported $10 million production budget.
The second weekend of the Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched dipped a little steeper than we expected, dropping 61% for an estimated $7.6 million following its Mother's Day weekend debut last week. Given its strong performance last Sunday this isn't much of a surprise, though it does sting a bit as the $42 million production now stands at $32.7 million domestically and isn't showing signs it won't likely have very long legs in North America.
Internationally, Snatched is up to $7.2 million, which includes an estimated $3.3m from 1,106 screens in 14 markets this weekend. Top opening this weekend was a fourth place finish in the UK where it brought in an estimated $1.3 million and with only 14 markets currently in play the vast majority of the international marketplace is still scheduled to release throughout the summer season.
Rounding out the top five is yet another Fox feature, this time the fourth film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The film debuted with an estimated $7.2 million from 3,157 locations, which is well below industry expectations and the "B" CinemaScore doesn't exactly make things any better. Yet, the film can still hope for a strong performance next weekend as more kids will be out of school over the Memorial Day holiday.
Elsewhere in the top ten, WB's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword dropped 55% for an estimated $6.85 million bringing its domestic cume to just over $27 million. Meanwhile, the $175 million budgeted feature brought in an estimated $27.7 million internationally from 64 markets, bringing its international cume to $66.2 million for a global gross-to-date of $93.4 million with a June 17 release Japan up next.
Additionally, Disney's Beauty and the Beast brought in an estimated $2.4 million as its domestic cume is now just shy of $500 million, soon to become only the eighth film to cross that mark. Overall, the film has now entered the all-time top ten worldwide, surpassing Iron Man 3 with $1.22 billion globally.
Speaking of worldwide cumes, Universal's The Fate of the Furious added over $10 million globally this weekend, bringing its worldwide cume to $1.212 billion as it currently sits in twelfth position on the all-time list, slowly creeping on Iron Man 3, just $2.23 million behind.
In limited release, IFC's Wakefield brought in an estimated $14,120 from one theater; PBS released Abacus: Small Enough to Jail into one theater where it grossed an estimated $13,626; and Cohen Media re-released James Ivory's Maurice into one theater where it grossed an estimated $6,013.
Next weekend sees the release of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, debuting in over 4,000 theaters. 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides debuted with $90.1 million and the film has seen some significant awareness as of late due to a reported hack of the Walt Disney Company wherein an upcoming Disney film, reported to be Dead Men Tell No Tales, was being held for ransom. It will be fascinating to see just how well Dead Men Tell No Tales after the last film was the only one in the franchise to not top $300 million domestically while at the same time delivering over $1 billion worldwide as the franchise, as with a lot of today's blockbusters, has become a major international play and it's going big next weekend, opening in all international markets except for Japan.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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