‘Alien: Covenant’ Scares Up $4.2 Million at Thursday Box Office

Its predecessor “Prometheus” took in $3.5 million back in 2012 on way to $51 million debut

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” creeped to $4.2 million at the Thursday box office, a strong opening for the Ridley Scott-directed film.

In comparison, its predecessor “Prometheus” grossed $3.5 million in 2012, going on to earn $51 million its opening weekend. Another solid comparison is “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which took in $3.7 million at the previews and went on to a $45 million domestic opening in 2015.

Heading into the weekend, “Covenant” was estimated to open between $40 million and $45 million by independent trackers, although the studio projected slightly lower.

Bridging the gap between “Prometheus” and Ellen Ripley’s encounter with the infamous Xenomorphs, “Alien: Covenant” follows the crew members of the titular spaceship as they travel to a new planet to set up humanity’s first large-scale colony. Along the way, they find a mysterious signal from a planet that turns out to be perfect for human life. But when they land, they discover only two inhabitants: David, the android companion from the Prometheus (Michael Fassbender), and the bloodthirsty extraterrestrials that wiped out all life forms on the planet.

Written by John Logan and Dante Harper, the film also stars Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, and Billy Crudup. It is produced by Scott, Mark Huffan, Michael Schaefer, David Giler and Walter Hill. Critic response to the film has been generally positive, with the film getting a 73 fresh percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Along with “Covenant,” Fox is also releasing something much more family-friendly: “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” The fourth film based on Jeff Kinney’s hit children’s book series and the first since 2012, it sees an entirely new cast take over as Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) convinces his family to go on a road trip for his grandmother’s birthday as part of a scheme to become famous. David Bowers directed as well as co-wrote the script with Kinney and Adam Sztykiel. The film currently has a 26 percent RT rating and is projected for an opening between $10-12 million.

Also out this week is Warner Bros./MGM’s “Everything, Everything,” a romance based on the 2015 bestselling young adult novel by Nicola Yoon, which earned $525,000 from previews on Thursday. It stars Amandla Stenberg as Maddy, a teen girl who suffers from an autoimmune disease that keeps her confined to her house but is tempted to explore the outside world after falling in love with the boy next door (Nick Robinson). Made on a reported budget of $10 million, the film is projected to make $10-12 million from 2,800 screens. Stella Meghie directed the film from a script by J. Mills Goodloe. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 49 percent.

The big question will be whether “Covenant” will gross enough to dethrone “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” After grossing $146.5 million its opening weekend, the James Gunn-directed film took in $65.2 million. If it has a 50 percent drop-off in weekend revenue, “Covenant” should come out on top.