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‘Alien: Covenant’ Looks To Kick ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.’ Out Of Orbit At The B.O. – Preview

Deadline logo Deadline 5/18/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
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20th Century Fox’s Alien: Covenantis expected to claw its way to the top of the weekend box office with $35M-$40M, ending the two-weekend No. 1 reign of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which will land in second in the low $30M range.

Covenant will be in play at approximately 3,600 theaters with a presence at PLF auditoriums and some Imax hubs.  The Ridley Scott-directed sequel to 2012’s Prometheus has already made over $40M in 34 foreign markets. Covenant happens at 7PM on Thursday. Meanwhile, GOTG2‘s domestic tally through Tuesday sits at $259M, 37% ahead of GOTG through its first 12 days. That movie finaled at $333.1M.

Having already logged a 77% certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, Covenant is in excellent shape heading into the weekend, and in this die-hard summer tentpole market, a film needs to truly impress critics to ensure any kind of long-leg success. Yes, there are few titles that are critic proof like Transformers, but for the most part, it’s very clear that moviegoers make their ticket-buying decisions off this aggregator site.  Covenant‘s great score is ahead of Prometheus which posted a certified RT of 72% fresh, earned a B CinemaScore, opened to $51M (a record debut for the sci-fi franchise) and legged out to a 2.5 multiple with $126M stateside and $403.4M global off a $130M negative cost before P&A. The big plus here for Alien fans is that Covenant stars the classic Xenomorph alien beast who was arguably in a beta phase during Prometheus. Fox kept Covenant cheaper than its predecessor in the high $90M range before P&A.

In what seems like an unconventional distribution plan for any major studio, 20th Century Fox also has another wide release this weekend, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haulbut it’s hardly a threat to big old Alien as the kid pic is targeting family crowds with an eye at $12M at 3,129 venues  (That said Fox actually did defeat Warner Bros.’ attempt in late March 2011 to lure fanboys with Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch by opening Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules against it, winning the weekend $23.8M to $19.1M). Long Haul cost $22M before P&A, which was the same as its predecessor 2012’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. These cash cows, and Long Haul is the fourth film, have typically delivered to Fox average global ticket sales of $75M per title. Long Haul begins on 5PM on Thursday.

Lastly, MGM has through Warner Bros. its Stella Meghie-directed teen romance Everything, Everything which is making a play at girls under 25, much like its summer release last year, Me Before You.  That movie was made for $20M before P&A, and made $56.2M stateside and $207M worldwide. Everything, Everything, based on Nicola Yoon’s novel, is even cheaper at $10M. Pic tells the story about a girl who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), and falls for the boy next door. Projected opening is $10M-$12M at 2,800-plus locations with previews starting at 5pm. Me Before You wound up beating its low teen projections last year opening to $18.7M. Me Before You had a RT of 58% Rotten. At this minute, we’re still waiting for reviewers to weigh on Everything, Everything.

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