20th Century Fox’s Alien: Covenant ripped into theaters last night at 7 PM with previews of $4.2M from about 3,000 locales, promising a strong Friday and weekend ahead. The Ridley Scott-directed sequel to the 2012 sci-fi pic Prometheus will roll out into about 3,600 locales domestically today after already chasing in over $46M overseas.
One comp is Mad Max: Fury Road which bowed on May 15 two years ago and had a Thursday preview of $3.7M and ended up with a Friday tally of $16.6M. That film, from another strong director (George Miller), ended the weekend with $45.4M.
Alien: Covenant‘s best comp would be, of course, Prometheus, but when that movie was released in 2012 the industry was not conducting Thursday night early previews yet. That practice only came to be some time after the mass shooting in the Aurora theater on July 20. However, we can tell you that Prometheus opened to a 3-day weekend of $51M and ended its run at $126.4M domestically and $403.3M worldwide when it bowed on June 8 of that year. Both Prometheus and Alien Covenant had about the same running time of a little over 2 hours.
Last night, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 grossed $3.7M as it heads into week three.
The studio is unleashing another movie this weekend with fourth installment of its Wimpy Kid franchise. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opened a little earlier yesterday at 5 PM at about 2,000 locations and took in a mere $150K. This film cost about $22M before marketing and distribution costs so the studio should be able to roll a profit off of this one. The last Wimpy Kid (Dog Day) which dropped into theaters in 2012 grossed $14.6M in its opening weekend (Aug. 3) and ended up taking in $49M domestically and $77M foreign so the studio knew this going in. The franchise seems to be played out. Only 3% of K-12 are out of school today but that % will move up to 27% by next Friday.
This AM, the MPAA announced that production on the film which spent over 200 days filming in Georgia generated over $14M in local economic activity with $4.4M spent on rentals, $1.1M for catering, $700K on transportation and $500K on supplies.
Canada is enjoying a national holiday on Monday, Victoria Day so about 5% of kids will be out of school on Monday, which includes colleges. Only 3% of K-12 are out of school today but that percentage will rise to 27% by next Friday.