By Tim Briody
May 21, 2017
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.
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.