LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Alien: Covenant" edged out "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" in the weekend box-office space battle.
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 North American ticket sales so far, Dergarabedian said, though grosses are running about 10 percent behind last summer's totals.
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. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Alien: Covenant," $36 million.
2. "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2," $35.1 million.
3. "Everything, Everything," $12 million.
4. "Snatched," $7.6 million.
5. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul," $7.2 million.
6. "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," $6.8 million.
7. "The Fate of the Furious," $3.2 million.
8. "The Boss Baby," $2.8 million.
9. "Beauty and the Beast," $2.4 million.
10. "How to Be a Latin Lover," $2.2 million.
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.