The weekend before Memorial Day sees one major wide release hoping to knock off Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a young adult novel adaptation and the reboot of a surprisingly reliable kid lit franchise as May continues the feast or famine year at the box office.
By Tim Briody
May 21, 2017
It’s closer than anticipated, but the top film of the weekend (for now) is Alien: Covenant. The sequel to 2012’s Prometheus, itself a prequel to the Alien trilogy, earned $36 million for the weekend. The weekend estimate comes in after a Friday take of $15.3 million, indicating a very high rush factor on Friday (and $4.2 million of that coming on Thursday night). The Friday figure was a little bit of cause for concern as Prometheus started off in June 2012 with $21.4 million. As I mentioned yesterday, I can’t provide a definitive reason for the drop from film to film here; Prometheus’ middling reception may be the most likely factor. Prometheus turned that opening night into a $51 million weekend, the 30% decline in opening weekends is considerably higher than anticipated.
Helmed by Ridley Scott (who also directed Prometheus, and of course the original Alien), Covenant had generally positive reviews (73% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), but a reported price tag of a bit under $100 million, so this one’s gonna hurt for Fox. It’ll have an okay hold going into Memorial Day weekend, but it’s going to freefall from there.
Making the weekend a photo finish is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, earning an estimated $35 million in its third weekend, making it the second film this year to cross the $300 million mark as it stands at $301.7 million. Guardians dropped 46% from last weekend, and the strong Saturday and Sunday fueled by younger audiences is what powered it over the big milestone this weekend, despite an $8.8 million Friday. It’s in a really great position for Memorial Day weekend, and looks to surpass the $333.1 million the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie earned by the end of the holiday weekend, as it now sets its sights on the $400 million mark.
Third place on the weekend goes to our next opener, young adult novel adaptation Everything, Everything, earning $12 million on the weekend. Primarily in existence simply because of the success of 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars, Everything, Everything did come in ahead of expectations, most of which expected a sub-$10 million opening. The teen love story (with an awful twist. Seriously, go read the plot description and the twist and it will make you angry. I’ll wait.) made its $10 million production budget back by finding its target audience. It’s headed to a quick trip out of theaters, but WB has to be happy with what’ll end up being a $35 million finish for the production.
Amy Schumer’s Snatched places fourth on the weekend, earning $7.6 million, a 61% decline from its opening weekend. The R-rated comedy now has $32.7 million after two weekends, meaning it’s finally surpassed the opening weekend from Schumer’s breakout hit Trainwreck in 2015. The top comedy option next weekend is likely to be Baywatch, meaning Snatched may struggle to reach the $50 million mark as a total.
Our last opener this weekend, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, comes in fifth with a weekend of $7.2 million. After a five-year delay between The Long Haul and the last Wimpy Kid movie, Dog Days, a complete reboot of the cast was necessary. Unfortunately for the franchise, the audience also appears to have moved on. The Wimpy Kid series was a surprisingly reliable franchise earlier in the decade, with 2010’s original earning $64 million, 2011’s Rodrick Rules earning $52 million (and even winning its opening weekend with $23.7 million) and Dog Days taking in $49 million in 2012, so it’s surprising that Fox waited so long for the fourth installment of the franchise. While being a strong family option will give The Long Haul a little bit of life over the next few weekends, it’s not going to recover from the reduced opening weekend and won’t match the heights of the previous films in the franchise, and a fifth movie at this point seems pretty unlikely.
The summer’s first huge flop, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is in sixth for the weekend. Dropping 55% from last week to $6.8 million, it’s earned $27.2 million in two weekends in theaters. The $175 million Guy Ritchie production is not quite being bailed out by international markets either, as it’s yet to cross $100 million worldwide. It’s probably not getting to $50 million domestically, and when you factor in the reported marketing cost (another $100 million), some people are getting fired over this one.
The remainder of the top ten are the remnants of the spring, starting with The Fate of the Furious, adding $3.1 million to its total in its sixth weekend. 8 Fast 8 Furious has earned $219.8 million to date; while that’s still well off from what Furious 7 earned domestically, it’s approaching $1 billion in the rest of the world, so expect Fast and/or Furious 9 in the next couple of years.
The Boss Baby in its eighth weekend with $2.8 million. The DreamWorks Animation production distributed by Fox has earned $166.1 million to date and is headed to $175 million.
Beauty and the Beast creeps closer to $500 million in its 10th weekend, adding another $2.4 million this weekend. The Memorial Day weekend should be enough to push it there, as it’s currently at $497.7 million, good for the eighth biggest movie of all time.
How to Be a Latin Lover takes tenth place on the weekend with $2.2 million giving the comedy $28.3 million to date despite never seeing more than 1,200 theaters. I expect Eugenio Derbez’s next comedy to be an American production and primed for a big breakout.
Thanks to our friends at Exhibitor Relations, the top 12 films this weekend earned $117.2 million, down 9.8% from last year when the top 12 earned $129.9 million, led by The Angry Birds Movie with $38.1 million and also boosted by the debuting Neighbors 2 ($21.7 million) and The Nice Guys ($11.2 million).
Memorial Day weekend is next, and it brings us Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth Pirates movie and the first in six years, and the comedic adaptation of Baywatch, as we all wait for Wonder Woman the following weekend.