Weekend Box Office: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Takes the Top Spot with $36 Million

     May 21, 2017

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As everyone expected, Alien: Covenant is now set to win the entire weekend at the box office, beating out tough competition from a major holdover (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and not-so-tough competition from a diptych of new releases in Everything, Everything and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Ridley Scott‘s divisive sequel to Prometheus, one of the most safe and least-distinct films that the master has ever made, took the top spot at the domestic box office with $36 million total, which would put it slightly below Prometheus‘ $51 million take in its opening weekend.

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Image via Marvel Studios

This difference is to be expected. Prometheus was Scott’s return to the franchise that he helped shape and for many, including this writer, his original film remains an unparalleled work of popular science fiction, well above the rushing pyrotechnics of James Cameron‘s still-great Aliens. Stacked up beside its most recent predecessor, Covenant is the better movie by quite a margin but there’s not as much mystery about the project and not as much anticipation to see where Scott will take the overarching narrative. In a better world, the movie would have featured more interactions between the two Fassbenders and less about the systematic slaughtering of Katherine Waterston‘s crew but even with the run-of-the-mill action-horror nonsense going on, Covenant actually feels allured by the story’s perverse ideas where Prometheus chose to largely ignore or obsessively limit such ideas.

Regardless, Covenant‘s initial take is enough to secure the release of Scott’s planned third installment in the prequel series with plans for a fourth film already formulating. One hopes that Scott and his creative team let themselves off the leash a bit more with the next one. Still, Covenant is the only truly adult movie to sit in the top five currently, with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 following along in second place with $35 million in its third frame and the insipid teen romance Everything, Everything following after in third with $12 million. There’s an argument to be made that Snatched is for a discerning audience but it’s overall tone is that off a goofy gross-out comedy with a problematic view of its setting and the people that live there. That it is occasionally funny is likely why it’s still in the top five, holding down the fourth spot with $7.6 million right above Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul at fifth with $7.2 million. Indeed, in comparison to these titles, Covenant might even qualify as bonafide art.

Here’s your top five from this weekend’s box office:

Title Weekend Domestic BO Total Domestic BO
1. ‘Alien: Covenant’ $36,000,000 $36,000,000
2. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ $35,062,000 $301,799,474
3. ‘Everything, Everything’ $12,000,000 $12,000,000
4. ‘Snatched’ $7,600,000 $32,782,600
5. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ $7,200,000 $7,200,000

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