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"Alien: Covenant" - China release: $30M

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MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 11:16 AM



Winning the weekend in China, Fox’s Alien: Covenant came in at $30.5M in 43 total markets ($30M from the Middle Kingdom). The China start also included $3M on 403 IMAX screens. The Shanghai Interantional Film Festival is about to unspool three previous Alien films in a special sci-fi section, including Ridley Scott’s original, and that could help boost some interest in the current film. However, there have been reports out of the Middle Kingdom of cuts to Covenant and there is not much time ahead of Transformers 5. In all, the international total is now $142.3M with Japan still to come on September 15.

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MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 11:17 AM


Fox "There aren't a ton of options for Chinese horror fans, which partially explains why Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and The Mummy relatively broke out. But the film is heavily edited, with much of the violence/gore removed, and audiences aren't thrilled about that. At this juncture, a $60m total would be a gift, especially with Transformers: The Last Knight set to make $60m in its first minute in China (slight exaggeration) next week. Alien: Covenant is not a flop, but it's not really a hit either."


MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 11:22 AM

Only 30 million?  Cultural differences, I guess?

Lawrence of Arabia

MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 11:40 AM

Not too bad though I heard they cut a lot of Alien scenes and the Fassbender gay kiss scene which probably hurt the film a bit (one of the best scenes imo). All in all though not too bad, glad Covenant is doing decent there.

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."


MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 11:42 AM

How much did "Prometheus" earn in China? $50M?


MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 12:04 PM

I don't remember seeing any Prometheus China numbers. Looked it up and found one site showing 34m. 30m out of China is great, especially on the tail end of a release. Anyone who was interested probably has already seen it because of the heavy bootlegging there.

It's at about 215 million worldwide currently. It will probably finish it's theatrical run around 230-240 million, then another 30 million or so in home video sales, then on to VOD and premium channel licensing. VOD sales often earn more than the theatrical run, and home video/VOD are much more profitable that box office sales.

Where the studios really make their money is tv and premium channels licensing though.



MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 12:08 PM

I found it:

"Prometheus did 30 million in China and 21 million in Japan in 2012."


MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 12:17 PM

I found two sites showing it finished its China run at 34.8 million, so Covenant already being at 30 million is good news.


MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 12:19 PM

So it will propoably earn around $55-60M. Quite good.

Lawrence of Arabia

MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 12:22 PM

I'm glad Covenant is doing well overseas :)

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."


MemberPraetorianJun-18-2017 2:47 PM

Thank you for the good news.


MemberXenomorphJun-18-2017 2:49 PM

Wow! That's really good news...So chopped up and still making that much? Impressive.


MemberOvomorphJun-18-2017 3:24 PM

So China will top out at 50 to 55 million, but studio only gets 25% of that.  If we're basing off all the Asian markets increasing from Prometheus in 2012, hopefully we can expect at least a 50% increase from Japan.  Which means an increase from 21 million to around 30 million.   It's at $215 Worlwide, add another 20 million from China and $20 to 30 million from Japan, so $250 to $265 million depending on how it holds.  Add VOD and Blu-ray and that's close to $300 million. 


MemberOvomorphJun-18-2017 4:01 PM

Why is the Japan release on September 15th? 4 months after the Worldwide release. Makes no sense.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminTrilobiteJun-18-2017 6:21 PM

$214 worldwide puts Covenant deep in breakeven territory. If it gets past $242 million worldwide, fans can breathe easy in terms of the movie making its money back. Though how much profit it will actually accrue likely won't set the Fox execs on fire.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 6:52 PM

The theatrical run is not where the profit comes from. Box office is where studios LOSE money. It costs them about $1.50 for every $1 earned at the box office.

All the money is earned on the back end with VOD and TV broadcast licensing. This costs the studios literally nothing, other than profit sharing residuals. The studio keeps about 90% of every dollar earned and they often double or triple box office numbers on major releases in just a few years.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminTrilobiteJun-18-2017 7:09 PM

Yes, yes, the ever popular, "the most creative minds in Hollywood are the accountants" truth. What you're saying is true, Kethol, and I certainly worded it wrong for the precise--Opting for layman's scribe to box office receipts. But lets not blow up everyone's minds with the fact that post-theatrical licensing and shell companies keep movies from being profitable. (VOD is technically still up for debate, keeping certain films from particular studios in the red.)

The rule of thumb is still 2-to-2.5x a film's budget at the box office is considered a "success". Perhaps not strictly "profiting", but there's enough people that don't understand theater chains, overseas distributors and marketing take a piece of the pie too. I'll stick with laymen's to keep it simple for the masses.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 7:15 PM

Sorry, I'm not really into the simple-for-the-masses thing. The 2 to 2.5 rule is really just for producers and other profit sharers, since they don't start actually earning until whatever they are calling "break even" is passed. That is peanuts to the studios.


MemberFacehuggerJun-18-2017 7:16 PM

Studios get half of the domestic grosses and about 30% of the overseas gross.  So they probably have 85 million right now out of the 97 million production cost without all the money on advertising.  Another movie at this point is still feasible.

G. H. (Gman)

AdminTrilobiteJun-18-2017 7:20 PM

"Sorry, I'm not really into the simple-for-the-masses thing."

Good luck with that.

"So they probably have 85 million right now out of the 97 million production cost without all the money on advertising."

In actuality they probably have less than that. The domestic gross fluctuates after a week or two--Theater chains may keep a lot more (sometimes up to 75%) for the first and even second weekends. After that it normally drops depending on the deal.

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."


MemberNeomorphJun-18-2017 8:24 PM

To put things in perspective, consider the fact that "Dangal", an indian film, made 185 million in China. In the world of today, Alien Covenant is a terrible fiasco.


MemberChestbursterJun-18-2017 9:41 PM

So, yeah, it's probably over $200m worldwide and may be at around $215-$220m by Sunday. It won't come anywhere near the $405m earned by Prometheus five years ago. An over/under $250m worldwide cume for an R-rated horror movie is nothing to snark at, even if Fox was arguably hoping for something better. This is a longer conversation for another day, but I still maintain that Prometheus: Covenant (or just Covenant) would have been a better sell.

more info:


MemberFacehuggerJun-19-2017 3:25 AM

@Roger55 - I like Scott Mendleson but personally, I do not think the title of the movie would have made a difference.  It is the final product in the end and the final product was not up to par and disappointing for most fans.  The movie could have been called "Star Beast" but if the movie was truly amazing; it would have made much more money.

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