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‘Alien: Covenant’ edges ‘Guardians’ at weekend box office

This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows a scene from "Alien: Covenant." (Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Alien: Covenant” edged out “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” in a weekend space battle at the box office.

Ridley Scott’s latest “Alien” exploit opened with $36 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Guardians” was close behind with just over $35 million in its third week of release.

“You couldn’t get two outer-space operas that are more different in terms of point-of-view and execution,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for ComScore.

Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” is a dark, R-rated scare-fest about slimy, parasitic space monsters; Disney’s “Guardians” is a sweet, family-centered romp across the cosmos.

“‘Alien’ is sort of the dark side,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s the R-rated yin to ‘Guardians’ PG-13-rated, fun yang.”

Two other new releases landed in the top five. Warner Bros.’ teen romance “Everything, Everything” debuted in third place with $12 million, and Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” opened in fifth with $7.2 million.

“Snatched,” Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s R-rated comedy from Fox, fell to fourth place in its second week of release with $7.6 million.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” provided a solid launch to the summer movie season with more than $300 million in domestic ticket sales so far, Dergarabedian said, though overall grosses are running about 10 percent behind last summer’s totals.

Still, May is following a typical pattern, he said. Marvel movies kick off the month, which ends with Memorial Day tent poles like next weekend’s “Baywatch” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Alien: Covenant,” $36 million ($30.3 million international).

2. “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” $35.1 million ($28 million international).

3. “Everything, Everything,” $12 million.

4. “Snatched,” $7.6 million ($3.3 million international).

5. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” $7.2 million.

6. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” $6.8 million ($27.7 million international).

7. “The Fate of the Furious,” $3.2 million ($7.2 million international).

8. “The Boss Baby,” $2.8 million ($5.1 million international).

9. “Beauty and the Beast,” $2.4 million ($5.2 million international).

10. “How to Be a Latin Lover,” $2.2 million ($2.2 international).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “Dangal,” $32.6 million

2. “Alien: Covenant,” $30.3 million.

3. “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” $28 million.

4. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” $27.7 million.

5. “Get Out,” $13.6 million.

6. “Life,” $13.2 million.

7. “The Fate of the Furious,” $7.2 million.

8. “Beauty and the Beast,” $5.2 million.

9. “The Boss Baby,” $5.1 million.

10. “The Merciless,” $3.4 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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