Summer movie season is in full swing and this week sees the release of three new films in wide release: Alien: Covenant, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, and Everything, Everything. While I’m expecting at least one of these to have a great opening, we could actually see a very respectable opening for all three films since they’re all aiming at different audiences. And with the holdovers from the last couple of weeks, the top five will probably be pretty busy this weekend. Let’s get going.
The big winner this weekend is shaping up to be Alien: Covenant, but the big question is will it reach the heights of the last film in the franchise (?) Prometheus (2012)? That opened to $51 million, which is not forcasted for Covenant. Still, with Ridley Scott back in the saddle again with the cast including Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, Demian Bichir, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo, James Franco, and Billy Crudup and the whole Alien franchise, everyone should be happy with an opening north of $35 million. That being said, I think one thing that hurts the film’s chances of matching or outperforming its predecessor is the mixed reactions that Prometheus got. Some have sworn off of seeing the film. I think back to when Star Trek Beyond (2016) opened lower than expected; we didn’t think about all the pissed off fans who hated Star Trek into Darkness (2013) and were done with the new franchise. I think the same can be said for some with Prometheus. Still, the marketing has been kick-ass with getting several people on-board with a “true” Alien film, so somebody like me who skipped Prometheus will be hitting the cinema sometime soon to see it. The critics are liking it, too with 78% of critics giving it the thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes. Tracking has it landing at $37 million, but I’ll go a bit higher with $42 million. With 3,716 theaters playing it, we’ll see the per-theater average hit $11,302.
Second place should go to holdover Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The film has gotten 2017 off to a strong start with summer movies at the box office, and I’m anticipating that since Alien: Covenant will be in direct competition with the sci-fi action elements, it’ll fall 50% and hit $32.6 million its third weekend. For third place, I think I’m going to go with Everything, Everything. Despite having no recognizable stars or critical reviews, the marketing has hit all the right spots for its teenage audience, and they don’t necessarily need an A or B level actor headlining the film or strong critical reception to get them in their seats. Tracking has it hitting $11 million, which I think is just a bit too high. I’m thinking $9 million should be do-able, though, and with 2,800 theaters playing it we’re looking at $3,214 as the per-theater average.
Fourth place and fifth place I think will be pretty close with their totals, and I’m putting Snatched in fourth. Despite poor reviews and poor reception from audiences, I think it will beat The Long Haul. We’re looking at a 60% drop and a second weekend of $7.8 million. As for The Long Haul, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has not been doing well. Each film has progressively grossed less and less overall, and I think with the new cast, a half-assed marketing campaign, and the sense of a franchise that just needs to end movie-wise, I’m anticipating a low opening of $6.5 million. Tracking has it higher with $8.5 million, but I think the writing is on the wall with only Alicia Silverstone as a draw for the film, but even she isn’t enough to help the film, and with only 28% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes giving it a recommendation, that’s of no help, either. With 3,129 theaters playing it, we’re looking at $2,077 as the per-theater average.
Now we’ll briefly look back on last weekend and see how I did predicting the top five. First place was an easy call for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It hit $65.6 million, just a few hundred thousand off my $65.9 million prediction, so that couldn’t have come much closer. It was all downhill from there. My second place prediction, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword disappointed big time with a third place finish of $15.3 million, a little over half of my highball $28 million prediction. My third place prediction Snatched landed in second place, definitely benefiting from Mother’s Day and earning $19.5 million, which was very close to my $20 million prediction, I just had it in the wrong place. Fourth place and fifth place didn’t pan out either. My fourth place prediction The Boss Baby fell out of the top five with $4.4 million in sixth place, which was even better than my $4.1 million prediction. My fifth place predicted The Fate of the Furious landed in fourth place with $5.4 million, much higher than my $3.4 million prediction. Beauty and the Beast took fifth place with $4.8 million, and I obviously didn’t have that one in there. Man, these past few weeks I’ve been on a losing streak. Maybe this weekend will turn it around. Let’s see what happens.