China Box Office: ‘Alien’ Flatlines Ahead of ‘Transformers’ Bonanza

Horror-hungry moviegoers flocked to a heavily-censored version of Alien: Covenant this weekend, but dwindling demand amid disappointing word of mouth combined with an unfortunate release date will send Ridley Scott’s film to an early exit.

Imported films continued their dominance at China’s box office this weekend, securing the top five films in the market. Since February 10, 2017 — immediately following the Lunar New Year moviegoing period — imported films have accounted for 80% of all ticket sales, including the top 12 highest-grossing films at the box office in that time span.

This weekend, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant (异形·契约) enjoyed a first place debut with RMB 185 million* ($27.2 million). The 20th Century Fox film lost 6 minutes of its original runtime in order to secure a Chinese release data and horror aficionados were up in arms over the cuts.

With overwhelmingly poor word of mouth from general audiences as well — Maoyan’s 6.8/10 is even lower than The Mummy — and Transformers: The Last Knight commanding two-thirds of China’s 45,000+ screen count come Friday, Alien will struggle to hit the 2x opening weekend multiplier that has become the recent standard for Hollywood releases in the territory.

Rounding out the top five this weekend were:

The Mummy – RMB 74 million ($10.8 million)/-77%/RMB 523 million ($76.6 million)
Wonder Woman – RMB 41 million ($6.1 million)/-51%/RMB 535 million ($78.3 million)
Pirates of the Caribbean 5 – RMB 22 million ($3.2 million)/-54%/RMB 1.085 billion ($158.9 million)
Dangal – RMB 21 million ($3.1 million)/-33%/RMB 1.166 billion ($170.8 million)

Weekend Gross/% Change from last weekend/Total Gross

*All listed grosses are adjusted to remove online ticketing fees. For a primer on why CFI reports this way, see here