All eyes were on Alien: Covenant this weekend, waiting to see where the next chapter in Ridley Scott’s series would go, if anywhere. The good news is the film managed to knock Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 out of the top spot, but the bad news is the film earned just $36.1 million, not great for a supposed summer blockbuster that cost $97 million (although that cost is much less than its predecessor Prometheus). The film added $30.3 million to its international total bringing it to $81.7 million in foreign markets, where is had a week’s head start over the US, and $117.8 million globally.
While there has been a lot of concern for the numbers for Alien: Covenant, this is one of those cases where it benefits us to look a little deeper past the weekend total. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 dropped to second place with $34.6 million, less than $2 million away from Alien: Covenant. But look deeper and you’ll see GotGVol2 was playing on 4,347 screens, about 600 more than Alien. That means Alien actually earned a hefty $9,615 per screen to Guardians‘ $7,972. Studios look at totals but they also consider a film’s average performance as well. It may not have crossed into the five-digit average, but Alien‘s per screen average isn’t anything to sneeze at. In fact, of the top forty films on the chart this week, Alien has the highest per screen average of them all. It’s closest competition is Paris Can Wait at Number 27 on 23 screens with an $8,190 average. The real question will be how the film holds up as the summer progresses, and can it make enough for 20th Century Fox to grant Scott a budget to continue what is essentially an unfinished story? Only time will tell.
There were two other newcomers at the box office this weekend. YA romantic drama Everything, Everything debuted at Number 3 with 11.7 million, higher than industry expectations, with a predominantly female audience (82%). Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, the fourth (fourth!) film in this series, arrived at Number 6 with $7.1 million, well below industry expectations, earning just about one-third of its budget.
Two films took some big hits in their second weekends. Snatched, which rode to success with Mother’s Day weekend, saw its fortunes snatched away by 60%, dropping two spots to Number 4 with $7.8 million (while adding 10 screens). The $42 million film has earned a domestic total of $33 million thus far. Warner Bros. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is not destined to be a cinematic legend, dropping 53.5% in its second week, moving down two spots to Number 5 with $7.1 million and a domestic total of $27.5 million. It’s international total stands at $67 million for a global earning of $94.5 million … not good at all for a film that cost about $175 million.
With three films entering the Top Ten, three had to clear out. Last week’s Number 8 film Lowriders dropped to Number 11 with $1.1 million, and former Number 9 The Circle took a massive hit (-75%) and fell to Number 16 with $451,218 (to be fair, it also lost more than 1,400 screens while Lowriders added 70). Missing completely from the chart is last week’s Number 10, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
Alien:Covenant will face a one-two punch this week with Baywatch officially opening on Thursday followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opening Friday. Expect either one of these to take the crown.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of May 19.
3. [N] –1– Everything, Everything – $11,727,390 [NEW]
6. [N] –1– Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul – $7,126,084 [NEW]
7.  –6– The Fate of the Furious – $3,234,040 [$219,944,340]
10.  –4– How to be a Latin Lover – $2,051,180 [$29,309,990]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. – # – Weeks in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo