China Box Office: 'Alien: Covenant' Scares Up $30M Debut
The latest installment in the long-running space horror franchise came under the knife from China's censors, who cut six minutes from the film, including Michael Fassbender's gay kiss.
Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant opened at the top of the Chinese box office over the weekend with $30 million.
The 20th Century Fox film earned $10.2 million Friday, followed by just under $11 million Saturday and $7.5 million Sunday, according to data from Beijing box-office monitor Ent Group (the company's weekend estimate was slightly lower than Fox's at $29.1 million). The movie has pulled in $215 million worldwide as of Sunday.
Prometheus, the preceding film in the Alien prequel franchise, opened on a Sunday in 2012, taking $4.4 million on its first day and $19.7 million over its first full week.
Local word of mouth around Covenant was fair to middling (average scores of 7.4/10 on reviews site Douban, and 6.8/10 on ticketing platform Weying), but some horror fans took to social media to complain about the six minutes of cuts imposed by Chinese censors, who excised much of the film's scariest alien moments, along with the brief gay kiss between the two android characters played by Michael Fassbender.
It was yet another Hollywood-dominated weekend up and down the charts in China, with international titles claiming the next four spots.
Universal's The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, slipped to second place with $11.1 million, a 79 percent slide from its $53 million opening frame. After 10 days in China, the film has earned $81.7 million, notably better than its underwhelming $56.6 million total in North America. Globally, the film has taken in $295.6 million.
Warner Bros. global sensation Wonder Woman added $6.21 million in its third outing, lifting its China total to $83.3 million. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, meanwhile, took $3.46 million in its fourth frame, bringing its cumulative to $170.1 million over 24 days.
And India's Dangal continued its historic run in China, coming in with $3.2 million and a 45-day total of $185.3 million.
The China market is now poised for the much-anticipated release of Paramount's Transformers 5 on Friday.