Box-Office Preview: 'Alien: Covenant' to Rocket Past 'Guardians Vol. 2'

Two smaller films targeting kids and tweens also open this weekend — a 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' reboot and YA film adaptation 'Everything, Everything.'

If all goes as planned, director Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller Alien: Covenant will rule the box office this weekend with a North American debut of $40 million or more.

That would be enough to topple Disney and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which has stayed atop the chart for the past two weekends.

Scott's second installment in the Alien prequel franchise, which cost Fox $97 million to produce, features an ensemble cast led by Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston and Billy Crudup. In June 2012, Scott's Prometheus debuted to $51 million domestically.

"There's life in the old bugger yet," writes The Hollywood Reporter's chief film critic Todd McCarthy in his review of Scott's new film. "And, as always, plenty of death. After the Alien series looked as though it had hit the rocks creatively (not for the first time) with the last entry, Prometheus, five years ago, savvy old master Ridley Scott has resuscitated it, and then some, with Alien: Covenant, the most satisfying entry in the six-films-and-counting franchise since the first two."

Fox is on double duty this weekend, between Alien: Covenant and reboot Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, based on the popular kids' book series. The fourth outing in the film franchise features a new cast and is hoping to gross $10 million in its domestic debut. The Long Haul, which cost $22 million to make, is targeting moviegoers between the ages of 6 and 12.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros. and MGM will bow YA romance drama Everything, Everything, which is projected to gross $8 million to $10 million in its opening weekend. Based on Nicola Yoon's best-selling 2015 novel about an 18-year-old girl who can't leave her home because of a mysterious illness, the $10 million film hopes to win over tween and teen girls.

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