Weekend Forecast: Will ‘Alien: Covenant’ & ‘Guardians Vol. 2’ Battle for #1?; ‘Everything, Everything’ & ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’ Aim to Counter-Program

Three new wide releases enter the fray this weekend, but will anything manage to dethrone Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Summer’s first blockbuster has already begun to display stronger holding power than recent Marvel sequels, but it won’t be an easy task fending off a veteran director’s return to a certain sci-fi horror franchise this weekend. Our final analysis and forecast:

Alien: Covenant
Fox

PROS:

  • Five years after helming the divisive (and largely alien-less) Prometheus prequel, director Ridley Scott returns to the iconic franchise he helped create. This time, a promised return to its horror roots has the fan base giddy with excitement for what the series has missed for many years.
  • Critical reviews have backed up as much with a fresh a 77 percent Rotten Tomatoes score as of this writing, which should be enough to convince the majority of die hard fans to give the franchise another shot.
  • With very few offerings in the market for older males right now, Covenant arrives at a perfect time in the pre-Memorial Day window. Pre-sales reports have been very healthy.
  • Social media activity has also been very healthy thanks to Fox’s massive marketing campaign, with Twitter and Facebook each delivering a high volume of mentions and daily fan growth in recent weeks.

CONS:

  • Despite fan anticipation for this prequel-sequel, there’s no getting around the fact that Prometheus put off both casual audiences and some fans from the series as it veered more heavily into the sci-fi realm and away from the series’ horror roots. Just like well-received sequels generate goodwill for their follow-ups, conversely, follow-ups pay the price for the sins of their predecessors.
  • Although reviews are mostly positive, it’s debatable whether they’re strong enough to lure in casual viewers again. This is a franchise that’s leaning heavily on older males at this point (ala Terminator: Genisys two years ago), and that won’t likely change on opening weekend. We expect positive pre-sales to simply translate into a front-loaded opening day.
  • The flip side of social media activity has been a declining sentiment score on Twitter, in addition to much of the activity being inorganic hashtag flooding.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Fox

PROS:

  • The lack of new films targeting families with young children and tweens should be a strong advantage for this sequel.
  • Twitter buzz is in line with 2012’s franchise entry, Dog Days — not to mention a stronger sentiment score.
  • The franchise’s low production costs mean reaching the box office totals of earlier films is certainly not required for this to be successful.

CONS:

  • Removed five years from the most recent film in the series, and after having already displayed diminished returns through that point, there’s not much momentum left in this franchise.
  • By contrast on the social media front, Flixster growth is tepid with just a 57 percent “want to see” score — notably falling below Middle School‘s 77 percent at the same point before release last October.
  • Ultimately, with young boys being the target audience here, the film will still have to fight for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s third weekend audience leftovers.

Everything, Everything
Warner Bros.

PROS:

  • Based on a relatively popular young adult novel, this love story could find an audience among teens and young date night crowds.
  • Social media buzz has turned out very positive in recent weeks as the film isn’t far behind the levels generated by last year’s Me Before You. Twitter sentiment is very encouraging.

CONS:

  • Unfortunately, the recent history of young adult adaptations is working against the possibility of a major breakout here. Still, the low-cost film could serve as a solid counter-programming option for its target audience in the weeks ahead if reception is positive.
  • Social media trends aren’t quite as favorable when compared to Paper Towns, although that film over-tracked due to its author’s popularity spillover from The Fault In Our Stars.

Check out our weekend forecast in the table below.

Title Distributor Weekend Domestic Total through Sunday, May 21 % Change
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Disney $36,000,000 $303,360,000 -44.84%
Alien: Covenant Fox $35,900,000 $35,900,000 NEW
Everything, Everything Warner Bros. $9,500,000 $9,500,000 NEW
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Fox $9,000,000 $9,000,000 NEW
Snatched Fox $8,600,000 $33,830,000 -56.00%
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Warner Bros. $7,450,000 $27,880,000 -51.50%
Beauty and the Beast (2017) Disney $3,370,000 $498,720,000 -30.00%
The Fate of the Furious Universal $3,240,000 $219,930,000 -40.00%
The Boss Baby Fox $3,150,000 $166,420,000 -30.00%
How to be a Latin Lover Pantelion $2,120,000 $29,440,000 -45.00%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Matteo D'Anello May 17, 2017

    I personally think the top 5 will play out like this

    #1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $43 M
    #2. Alien Covenant $41 M
    #3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $8.9 M
    #4. Everything, Everything $8.1 M
    #5 Snatched $7.9 M

    I also think Friday will be like this

    #1. Alien: Covenant $17 M
    #2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $12 M
    #3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $3 M
    #4. Everything, Everything $3 M
    #5 Snatched $2.7 M

    Every weekend Guardians Vol. 2 has been in release the weekend actuals have been higher than the predictions. Still hoping Guardians makes $400 M domestically and Alien: Covenant makes at least $100 M in its entire run. Have no hope for Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Everything, Everything.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Michael May 17, 2017

    Sorry but Alien is taking number 1 and definitely opening higher than what this website predicts. I’d say $40+ million opening weekend

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Russell May 18, 2017

      I think this will happen:
      Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will make around $31-32 million (a 50% drop), and I think Alien: Covenant will open with $39-41 million. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul will probably make less than $10 million, and Everything, Everything will probably make $11 million.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Austin May 17, 2017

    Even if Alien: Covenant opens to only $36 million, I don’t believe that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will suffer only a 45% drop. While I acknowledge that drops for superhero films are indeed lower on the third week compared to the second week, none of them released on the first week of May had anything lower than a 50% drop on the third week. Therefore, my prediction is that even if GOTG2 is dropping less than Civil War last year, it will drop at least 51%, allowing Alien: Covenant to rule the weekend.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Drew May 18, 2017

    Trusting you to not mess up my fantasy movie league

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    DangerS May 18, 2017

    My predictions:
    Alien: Covenant – $40-45M
    Guardians 2 – $35M
    Everything, Everything – $10-11M
    Wimpy Kid – $8-9M

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Marina May 18, 2017

    For me, Alien Covenant number 1

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    R Scott May 19, 2017

    Alien Covenant is a terrible film. It won’t break a $100m

    Reply

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