In its US landing Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant had the honor of a $36.5 million first place debut. This positions it just ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s $35 million, but is still a less than ideal return for a $100 million film in a proven franchise. Prometheus, its predecessor and the beginning of the Alien series prequels, made 29% more with a $51.5 million debut in 2012. Overseas plays are up to $81.8 million, after taking another $30.3 million this weekend. While a $117.8 million second week cume isn’t bad for a film with this kind of budget, Fox will have hoped to cut a bigger check from a property that carries this much weight.
Moving in on some of the US seats that Covenant left empty was Warner Bros.’ surprise young adult hit Everything, Everything. It took $12 million from its 82% female crowd, earned an A Cinemascore, and cost just $10 million to make. Everything is about a girl with a severe immune disorder who moves in next door to a boy. Their windows face each other and they start to fall in love via looks and text messages. The girl, played by Amandla Stenberg, (Rue from the Hunger Games,) eventually decides to risk going out of the house in her grave condition to see her crush, which ends up having unforeseeable consequences for both of the teens.
As well as Everything did to make a name for itself, another young adult title that dropped in the US this weekend might be the not so happy end of an established series. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, tanked on its opening weekend with a $7.2 million haul from 3,157 theatres. Long Haul missed the next lowest opening in the now four film series by more than 50%, and fell well short of its $20 million production budget. David Bowers returned for his third time at the head of a Wimpy Kid title. Each of the previous entries in the series closed their worldwide runs in the mid $70 millions, but Long Haul seems to be in for a short and bumpy ride in the red.
The US had a particularly slow box office performance. After the disappointing debut of King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword last week is already down 10% this month compared to last May and 20% down compared to the summer of 2015. In the meantime, a new hit recorded a major milestone across the Pacific in China. Dangal, a Bollywood wrestling pic starring Indian superstar Aamir Khan, reached $100 million in the Middle Kingdom. Its $33 million session this weekend made it the biggest Indian film in the country, and already the 46th biggest movie there overall. What’s more, Dangal is closing on Baahubali 2’s $241 million Bollywood box office record.
Next weekend we’ll pack our swim trunks and umbrellas for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch. Also opening on the specialty market are music flics Long Strange Trip about The Grateful Dead and retrospective swansong Buena Vista Social Club: Adios.