‘Covenant’ Inches Past ‘Guardians’ In Weekend Box Office

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20th Century Fox

Most people already could already predict that Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant would end up wrangling the top spot at the weekend box office in its inaugural weekend – though many didn’t expect the race for the number one spot to be as close as it was.

Alien: Covenant barely managed to cling to first place, landing $36 million in a very sluggish weekend. 20th Century Fox initially reported that Covenant had earned $40 million for the weekend but were lessened when the actual predictions hit the press. The latest from Ridley Scott, which has divided critics and audiences alike, finished under the original $40-$50 million forecast. Luckily for 20th Century Fox the film was produced for a meager $97 million and the film has performed admirably overseas with $81.8 million thus far. While I’m sure Ridley Scott may be happy with those numbers – they’re far from worth popping champagne over on a Monday morning. Prometheus debuted to a $51.5 million bow nearly five years ago. Perhaps audiences are tired of hapless idiots getting picked off in predictable scenarios? Or is it that fans really wanted Neil Blomkamp’s recently-cancelled Alien 5? (If you’re looking for more visceral film that will make you leap out of your skin, may I suggest Life instead?)

Barely, and I mean so close that Covenant could feel the heat nipping at its heels, was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. The former box office champ didn’t go down without a fight though, hauling in another $35 million. (Though, who knows – wouldn’t it be something if the actual figures showed Volume 2 actually edging out Covenant over the weekend instead?) To date, the Marvel Studios blockbuster has amassed $732 million in overall receipts. After this coming weekend the sequel should surpass the first film in total earnings as well, marking the highest grossing film in both James Gunn and Michael Rooker’s careers. Gunn’s tour-de-force shows no signs of slowing down either, recording a meager 46.5% decline from last weekend. The film hasn’t even been out a month yet and doesn’t have much competition in the comic book genre – well, until June 2nd anyway.

There is at least a singular common thread through the top ten right now – and that’s the concept of tanking. And hard. The first film considered a failure? That’d be Amy Schumer’s Snatched, billed as Goldie Hawn’s return to stardom. Not so fast though, Goldie. Maybe Amy wasn’t your ticket back into the limelight. The comedy, too a 20th Century Fox release, snatched (ha!) up $7.6 million while dropping a whopping 61.7% from last weekend, the biggest drop of any release. Thus far Snatched has only pulled in $39.9 million worldwide and, with a $42 million budget, probably won’t turn a profit until home video release. Just because some comedians also flourish on the screen doesn’t mean everyone will. For every Eddie Murphy, you have a Dane Cook.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the latest in the Fox franchise and eyed as a reboot, was an all-out dud. The film could only generate $7.2 million for a fifth place debut. I think I can safely say that all of the children who grew up reading the books are now teenagers with substantially different interests. The cast from the previous films were jettisoned in favor of new principal actors. (Read: cheaper budget, cheaper contracts, cheapened movie.) Suffice to say, I don’t think we’ll have to endure another one of these in the future. Bang the nail in the coffin, this franchise is toast – or at least until Nickelodeon turns this into a weekly series, knowing their track record.

Speaking of hammering a nail into a coffin, rest in peace to Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. We hardly knew ye as a potential franchise. We never will. In the film’s second week of release the Ritchie release mustered a lousy $6.8 million. Worldwide Legend of the Sword has pulled in just $93 million. Granted, there’s a lot of different reasons why this has tanked as hard as an anchor falling into the sea – I could spend all day finger pointing at what went wrong – but both Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam need to retreat from genre films for a spell. Shoot some smaller, more personal projects that don’t involve Warner Brothers. The beleaguered studio is still searching for a bonafide hit as a string of failures dating back across the last two years. (That’s right – not even Fantastic Beasts grossed near the studio estimates.)

Next weekend is Memorial Day here in the United States and, with the three-day holiday weekend, two big tent-pole releases are set to hit theaters. In case you haven’t heard by now, and there’s a good chance you’ve missed all of the trailers, there’s a Johnny Depp movie screening near you. You know – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales? The latest is billed as the start of the final adventure but my real question, if the latest Depp romp fails to impress or draw audiences, will Disney chop Jack Sparrow off at the knees? Also hitting theaters is the latest from Dwayne Johnson – the comedy reboot of Baywatch co-starring Zac Efron in the spirit of Reno 911. If I were to hedge my bets, something tells me Disney will see its third #1 weekend at the box office this year.

Also? I have a gut feeling that Covenant is really going to dove tail going into next weekend. I hate to see that happen to such a visionary like Ridley Scott but I just don’t think audiences care much about the Alien franchise right now. Until next week my friends, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do Memorial Day weekend – actually, go ahead, eat three cheeseburgers and five hot dogs, they won’t kill you! – and you all take care and have a fantastic week!

1.) Alien: Covenant – $36 million

2.) Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 – $35 million

3.) Everything Everything – $12 million

4.) Snatched – $7.6 million

5.) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul – $7.2 million

6.) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – $6.85 million

7.) Fate of the Furious – $3.1 million

8.) The Boss Baby – $2.8 million

9.) Beauty and the Beast – $2.4 million

10.) How To Be A Latin Lover – $2.2 million

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