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Weekend Box Office: ‘Alien: Covenant’ Flies to $4.2M Thursday Night

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Two smaller films targeting younger moviegoers also open this weeekend: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ and ‘Everything, Everything,’ which took in $525,000 in previews.

Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller Alien: Covenant flew to $4.2 million in Thursday-evening previews before opening everywhere Friday morning in North America.

Scott’s second installment in the Alien prequel franchise, from Fox, is projected to land in the $45 million range for the weekend from 3,760 theaters. That should be enough to topple Disney and Marvel’s global goliath Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which has stayed atop the chart for the past two weekends.

Alien: Covenant, costing $97 million to produce before marketing, features an ensemble cast led by Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. In June 2012, Scott’s Prometheus debuted to $51 million domestically. This time out, the crew of the colony ship Covenant think they have discovered paradise only to encounter hostile and dangerous alien forces.

As a way of comparison, Alien: Covenant came in ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road ($3.6 million) in terms of Thursday night previews. Mad Max, opening on the same weekend in 2015, went on to open to $45.4 million domestically. Prometheus earned $3.6 million in midnight previews, but it isn’t an apple to apples comparison, since previews began at midnight.

Fox is on double duty this weekend, between Alien: Covenant and reboot Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, based on the popular kids’ book series. The fourth outing in the film franchise, playing in 3,157 locations, features a new cast and is hoping to gross $10 million in its domestic debut. The Long Haul, which cost $22 million to make, is targeting moviegoers between the ages of 6 and 12.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros. and MGM will bow YA romance drama Everything, Everything, which is projected to gross $8 million to $10 million in its opening weekend from 2,801 theaters after earning $525,000 in previews.

Based on Nicola Yoon’s best-selling 2015 novel about an 18-year-old girl who can’t leave her home because of a mysterious immune disorder, the $10 million film hopes to win over tween and teen girls. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson star.

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