Opinion Piece: Why Alien: Covenant has flopped!

Scified2017-06-02 05:09:22https://www.scified.com/articles/why-alien-covenant-has-flopped-52.jpg

[The following is an opinion piece]

It will come as no surprise considering the growing negative opinion that in western markets Alien Covenant has flopped, earning (as of May 31st) only $62,483,189 domestically against its $97 million dollar budget. Although the sequel to 2012's divisive Prometheus has yet to be released in all foreign markets there is little chance that the movie will amass the necessary box office returns to be considered a commercial success. Which, as we have already reported, may have put the future of the franchise in jeopardy, at least in regards to director Ridley Scotts reported plans to begin production on the next installment in his Alien prequel series before the end of the year.

While Michael Fassbender's dual performance as the sociopathic synthetic David and the devoutly dutiful Walter is beyond reproach and while the movie's addition to the prequels series' mythology does offer some small nuggets of interest to fans, the narrative of the movie is as tired as the overused antagonistic creatures, playing much like a greatest hits compilation of scenes from throughout the franchise. The characterization beyond the leading roles is poorer than in its predecessor and the artistic magnificence that was Prometheus' redeeming feature is lost with Covenant playing against possibly the franchise's most mundane locations. Even worse, looking at Prometheus' use of abandoned concepts from Alien, much of Covenant seems to borrow heavily from the abandoned scripts and concepts for Prometheus, as evidenced below with some concept art from the book "The Art of Prometheus", which features characters similar to those of the crew of the Covenant and a creature not dissimilar to Covenant's Neomorphs.

While apparently, some fans will blindly follow Ridley Scott no matter what direction he takes this franchise, a growing number of fans and the general audience are showing that they will not. His recycling of unused ideas from previous installments is cause for concern alone, as is the juxtaposition of his own atheist beliefs into the franchise's mythology. Worse still is the contradictory nature of his comments whereby he has previous stated that the Xenomorph was tired and "cooked" before directing a movie with the creature in question as the antagonist, or his recent comments that David is reportedly the creator of the Xenomorph despite having previously stated that the derelict Juggernaut and its "cargo" of eggs on LV-426 was at least 2000 years old and that Alan Dean Fosters novelization of Alien: Covenant states that David recreated the creature from notes created by the Engineers. Finally, recent comments reveal that Scott and Twentieth Century Fox never considered Neill Blomkamp's desire to add to this franchise, despite previous reports suggesting Scott would act as the sequels executive producer and that the movie's production was pending the release of Covenant.

Blomkamp's proposed addition would ultimately have been little more than a fan service movie, which would have inevitably added little to nothing to the franchise's overarching narrative with the apparent resurrection and then the death of the leading characters Ripley, Hicks, and Newt. Despite Carrie Henn's willingness to reprise her iconic role, it is highly unlikely that both Henn or the studio would have been willing to pin the future of the franchise on an unknown actress whose last role was over thirty years ago. However, Blomkamp's concepts did show the desire for a continuation of the franchise beyond that of Scott's overtly ambiguous series of prequels. A sentiment that has likely increased in audiences following the low reception Alien: Covenant has received.

Ironically the underlying reason why Alien: Covenant has performed so poorly is also why Prometheus received such divisive opinion upon its release. As a result of confused marketing general audiences believed that Prometheus was a direct prequel to Alien, so when the movie did not connect to the original movie as expected and featured a mysterious black slime as its chief antagonist rather than the iconic Xenomorph these audiences were confused. Although they understood that the movie was establishing a new mythology that would run parallel to its mother franchise even fans felt the movie could have been better with poor characterization, poor narrative structure, and even poorer editing choices being the chief critical points against the movie. Both fans and general audiences were led to believe from Prometheus' ending and early press about the movie that this sequel, originally titled Paradise, and then Alien: Paradise Lost was to follow David and Shaw (Noomi Rapace) on their voyage to the Engineer homeworld, which was expected to be a dark yet beautiful visual masterpiece that would realise many of the late H R Giger's nightmarish biomechanical landscape paintings (pictured above). Both fans and general audiences expected Prometheus' sequel to be a science fiction horror interpretation of the Wizard of Oz and Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy. Had this movie been made but suffered from a poor narrative collectively all audiences would at least be praising the movie's visual mastery, but likely due to interference from either the studio or the producers Scott has instead damaged his integrity by giving fans and general audiences what he claimed was responsible for the franchise's fall from grace, and the apparent reason for his return to the franchise - a by-the-numbers monster movie.


It seems Hollywood studios are slow to learn the invaluable lessons a movie's release tries to teach them. 2016's Deadpool showed that when a movie is produced with the necessary due care and attention it will be at the very least a critical success, yet Hollywood studios instead interpreted the movie's success as a demand for R-rated superhero movies. What Fox needs to learn from the underperformance of both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is that the general audience is as important, if not more so than the fan base - as such the premise for a movie needs to be clear, concise and desirable. Producing a predictable rehash movie rather than a potential visual masterpiece in the attempt to save investment and maximize profits only relates to audiences the studio's apparent lack of faith in their intellectual property; if a studio does not believe in its product why should the audience.

Information and views set out in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Scified or Alien-Covenant.com.

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9,516 XP2017-06-02 05:09:22


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 5:25 AM

Quite a write up. Fox and Ridley both could benefit from reading it.


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 5:37 AM

I would add: it's probably a bad idea to introduce an interesting, mysterious, iconic race of alien superior being characters into a movie franchise - show them for less than 5 minutes in that introductory movie - and then kill off their entire species in the next movie in less than 30 seconds. (Not to mention featuring them prominently on the main poster for the film despite them basically not being in the movie)


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 5:52 AM

Really not surprised its had problems since the start of Prometheus. If that's the entire race :O ! Even with all the fans explaining how everyone will love it in a few years time :S . It all comes down to the fact there is no solid universe behind it all. They haven't thought about whats happend in the past and whats going to happen. And the more the better. What do engineers eat what do they like doing who made them who made the ones that made them how many planets do they populate and only in this galaxy etc etc.....same with the xenos and whats happend on earth etc etc as much as possible then make the story from that solid universe...these new films feel like random ideas patched together with so many things not adding up... 


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 6:17 AM

Prometheus opened up the universe and offered so much. It was a beautiful film, thanks to RS yet the characterisation was flawed.

That didnt matter. We had new beings and a Mythology to think about. We can tighten the story next time......

The most annoying part for me was the fact they billed it as a sequel to Prometheus.

RS said so in the footage before "The Crossing"

The Poster detailed an event with Xeno and possible Engineers.

There was more evidence than that too. Everyone expected a sequel to Prometheus. So to market it that way and to not follow through is unacceptable to me.

If it didnt have the answers, warn us. Let us know it might as well be a stand alone action flick. 

None of it makes any sense to me.  Considering whats happened since 1979, Fox should not even have a franchise left.  It has consistently punched under its weight since Aliens and its a shame for us fans that it has been managed in this way. 

Fox are terrible with this franchise. 



MemberContributorJun-02-2017 7:01 AM

163 million earned less than two weeks is a flop? That's great for an R rated film, especially considering it competed against two massive back-to-back, family friendly franchise films. We have not even gotten to the streaming and home video market yet.

It's also sitting at 6.8 out of 10 (4 1/2 out of 5 starts) rating on IMDB from over 70 thousand users, 65 and 6.2 score on Metacritic, and the combined critics rating is over 70% positive. That is not stellar, but how is that a "flop"?


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 7:07 AM

I covered a long run down to why this movie has flopped a bit...  There are TWO Forms of Flopping.

1) The Box Office.. which dictates how many people in general have paid to see the Movie.  The General Public was not too interested in this movie.

2) The Disappointment and Criticism of the Movie.  Which affected mainly Franchise Fanbase, but to a degree the small % of Casual movie goers who went to see the Movie.

"Blomkamp's proposed addition would ultimately have been little more than a fan service movie"

Ultimately this is what Alien Covenant became, it appears that FOX had Gauged the reaction to Prometheus and how it never had Xenomorphs, Eggs etc and how it appeared Alien 5 was gaining more interest than a Prometheus 2 lets go follow Dr Shaw (who did not interest a lot of fans) and her mission to find these Giant Bald Wanna be God Engineers and ask why they created us, why they wanted to destroy us and maybe delve into the History of these beings and Agenda and who Created them?  While stepping away from Alien and the Xenomorph but no doubt having a David the Robot with his own Black Goo Creating Agenda..

Fox felt that it appeared a more Alien 5 Movie would be more interesting to the Fans, as far as what would make $$$$ and so Changes was made....

Here are the main Gripes with Prometheus in General.

1) Never gave us any real Spoon Fed Xenomorph Origins and we never got to see no Xenomorphs, Face Huggers and Eggs.

So with AC they attempted to bring these things back.

2) The Characters was never too good, underused and never engaged the Fans.

They attempted to make a better cast/script that would use Characters a bit more better, a bit more serious and also have a Slow Burn Start to the movie so we can build up a relationship with the Characters.  This however took up a lot of the allotted movie time.

3) The Engineers and Shaw/Religious Connections disappointed some, including these Humanoids Created the Xenomorph and Mankind..

So they attempted to brush these things under the carpet but they could not complete ignore these things, RS liked Fassbenders David and felt his ARC and Agenda would be a important to the Franchise, so they could not just have the Covenant Crew Turn up and discover NO Engineers, a Crashed Engineer Ship and Eggs.  They could not just have Dead Engineers and then have the Covenant Crew and Audience (who never saw Prometheus) as well whats this Robot doing here, what was the Prometheus Mission.  They had to cover these things in some minor way.

4) Prometheus had left a lot of Ambiguous stuff and direction, it was too much of a Mystery.

So they attempted to not have too much Mystery but they kept some of it, like the Engineers mainly because they felt the General Fanbase was not interested in Engineers and their Culture and those Mysteries... the only Mystery the Fans wanted was the Xenomorph to be answered and so this was done in a more Spoon Fed yet Curve-ball way.

5) Some really Stupid things... 

But AC did address these in the Draft/Novel and maybe we had those Scenes Cut, that ultimately would leave us to not have as many Stupid Moments... No Helmets, Looking into a Egg... all are explained better with the Novel.  But then Prometheus Flaws was explained better with the Drafts... So AC still had a few Stupid Scenes.


Alien Covenant had take a long slow build up in the hope to bring us to a connection with the Characters more, this did not leave enough time to then cover...

Prometheus Connections. which they decided to tone down but could not completely not cover... this means Prometheus Fans was left Disappointed... yet Prometheus Haters or those who did not like/see the point... may have felt AC had once again covered Prometheus Elements a bit to much (indeed most of the not spoiled in TV Spots/Trailers Scenes was about David and Prometheus connections).

Having to cover Scenes about David and to tie up Prometheus/Shaw connections loosely had taken more time off the allocated Movie time.

Which meant that having to showcase TWO Xenomorphs and then allow for the Ending Twist, meant they did not have enough time to really showcase the Xenomorph enough.. Hence why they had to Speed up the Gestation/Growth Rate.  It appears they may have had longer Xenomorph Scenes at the end but they had to be edited and cut down to get the movie to a 2 hour Mark.

Then this movie was Marketed and Hyped up to be a ALIEN Movie... the Trailers and TV Spots was "LOOK I'M A ALIEN MOVIE" 

Ridley Scott even said he wanted to bring back the Alien, and that he also wanted to Scare the $&*£ out of us, and that this Movie was going to be Scary....  Alien Fans thought they would be in for a Scary Horror type Movie like the Original and maybe we would even see some Close up Advanced Practical Effects...  But  Sadly a lot was CGI and the Alien was not kept in the Shadows like in Alien or Alien 3, it was more of a Alien Resurrection with just TWO Xenomorphs kind of way.

Aliens Fans was led to think the movie would be a Action movie, with Mercenaries Guns and Aliens.... RS and other Production Staff saying "we have a lot of Aliens in this.. maybe even too many".

The Posters seemed to hint this is a ALIEN Movie and the other one with Engineers and those Xenomorphs (some looked like Queens) made Fans think we are in for a Apocalyptic Xenomorph Armageddon (at least we see Engineers suffered this)  Sadly nope... there was not much Action at all,  less than Alien Resurrection and certainly not near Aliens.

A lot of General Fans did not get Prometheus, if you had surveyed a Random 100'000 cinema goers 5 years ago what do they think Prometheus was about..... not a large number would know it was a Alien Movie, and those who did would not have thought it made much of a connection.

So they Marketed Alien Covenant as THE ALIEN Movie Fans have been waiting for since Alien 3 Sadly all the Interviews and Comments by Cast and Crew had informed us of most of the Alien Connected (Xenomorph) aspects, the Trailers and TV Spots basically showcased every Xenomorph/Neonmorph encounters.

The only thing they did not cover..... DAVID and his Arc/Agenda and what connects David to AC which was Prometheus and the aftermath of that movie.

So Alien/Aliens fans would have felt let down... the movie did not have Many Aliens, it lacked the Alien/Alien 3 approach yet it did not deliver the Alien R and Aliens Approach.. Most of the Alien Connections was already shown in the Trailers ETC...

So all that was left was David and the few Prometheus links... which would have not been what some Alien/Aliens fans wanted to know as the only Secrets to the Movie that was not really shown in the Trailers revolved around David/Prometheus and then that TWIST... David Created the Xenomorphs... And now he has TWO Face Huggers and a Crew of 2000 souls... and a sequel that will connect to Alien Eventually.


The Prometheus elements was handled in a way so as to brush them under the Carpet... and so the movie was a Disappointment for them too.


They tried to Please, Aliens, Alien and in a way Prometheus Fans but with not enough time to cover all these things they just ended up for the most part Disappointing a majority of us.







MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 7:12 AM

I'm one of those who enjoyed Alien:Covenant. I'm also one of those who think the world is not coming to an end because the movie is not exactly the way I wanted it to be (even because it's not my movie). But that doesn't make me a fan that "will blindly follow Ridley Scott no matter what direction he takes this franchise", as if there was only two kinds of fans - the ones who dislike Covenant, and the blind ones. 

A little bit of impartiality would be appreciated.


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 7:18 AM

" as is the juxtaposition of his own atheist beliefs into the franchise's mythology." 

Stopped reading here. There are many things you can criticize about AC, but using un-used concepts developed for previous movies isn't one, and neither is shoe-horning in random insults that have little basis in the actual films.

Chad Ripley

MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 7:20 AM

In 20 years the box office for May has never been as low as it was this year. I don't blame Scott for that, and think people aren't going to the movies as much as they use too for some reason. I don't think AC was a bad as this post says and think it was 1000 times better then Prometheus. The mistake Scott made was trying to copy Star Wars the force awakens formula. Everyone knows that movie was Star Wars 2.0 and AC is basically Alien 2.0. He also should have explained things with David and his creations more so we could get specific details about what that alien was at the end. If he said it's the Protomorph in some way I think that would have attracted a larger audience to come see the movie. If the designers and Scott decided to make a Xenomorph that was bigger and could develop 10 times faster then all the previous aliens while also not sharing the biomechanical look of the others then that was a mistake. I'm hoping that in the next one it will be explained more. David could perfect his creations with the crew/colonists and create the classic Xenomorph from alien etc. the gestation period would be longer so the host could be caught off guard and unknowingly take the creature into other areas so the infection can spread. The alien would also be smaller and have the biomechanical elements that the AC ones lacked (they cut the power). 

I liked AC and this is my favorite franchise of all time. I did see a lot of flaws but in the end it's just a movie and it was entertaining. It did its job and I think a lot of people misinterpreted some of the scenes. Like that switch at the end wasn't suppose to be a omg surprise. U know right away that's David and not Walter and you also know he's helping Daniels and Tennessee because he wants to see how his creation does against them. He's basically taking notes as it's fighting them so he can make improvements in the sequel which I hope fox lets Scott do because I think it would sasisfy everyone and spell out the things people probably missed while watching AC. 


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 7:28 AM

"What Fox needs to learn from the underperformance of both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is that the general audience is as important, if not more so than the fan base"

I think this was the Problem... they tried to Market this at the General Public....  lets face some Facts..... if you asked say 100'000 Random People.... not many would know what Prometheus was about... not a high % would be like

"yeah thats the Alien Prequel Movie"

And those who saw it, not a high % would have made the connection because General Fans would only know Ripley and the Xenomorph and Eggs and Face Huger as the stand out link to what is a Alien Movie....    They would not notice the Weyland Company as much, they would not notice the Derelict Scene as much.

Not as much as Alien Fans or General Sci-fi fans... the General Public would have seen AVP movies as more Alien than Prometheus... and the actual Alien/General Sci-Fi fans who saw Prometheus could not make out the Alien connections.

Only the more Hardcore Fans who could make out the connections.

So they MARKETED this movie as a ALIEN Movie.

As i had said on another Topic... the Alien Franchise after Alien 3 did suffer.... Alien 3 brought a end to the Franchise but it also split some Aliens fans because now not only was Hicks and Newt killed off but now Ripley was too..... NO MORE ALIEN movies.

Along came Alien Resurection where they felt a Alien movie needed Ripley, and so they had to think of a way to bring her back... and if LV-426 was destroyed in Aliens then how do they bring back the Xenomorph... Hence Alien R Plot... this movie did not do the others justice... Alien Fanbase it was not as good, for the General Public it seemed a not so good movie.

So then due to the success of the AVP Comics and Games, FOX decided to make TWO AVP Movies. To the General Public this was a Popcorn Flick... Action and TWO Iconic Alien Monsters fighting each other... for Alien Fans.. however it messed about with Canon and Ultimately was a injustice as far as the AVP Games/Comics.  Then FOX made that Sequel.... Oh Dear.... and this turned the Xenomorph into a Joke.

The Movies after Alien 3, inc AVP and the Alien Games and AVP Games simply overcooked the Beast...

The General Public was not too interested in the ALIEN Franchise.

So then game Prometheus... which again had its flaws, but Ultimately did not show the General Public and Alien Fanbase any real Xenomorph Connections... this was not a Alien Prequel it was a Space Jockey Prequel done in a way to have them as Giant Humans who created Mankind and then Created that Black-Stuff to Kill Mankind which created Xenomorph ISH Monsters.

For the General Public this movie made them loose interest in any revival of the ALIEN Franchise... for Alien Fans it disappointed especially Aliens Fans.


Getting the General Public to go and see a Alien Movie is now hard work as their memories would be tainted by Alien R, the AVP Movies and Prometheus...  to make them Shell Out $$$ to see it in the Theaters etc

So they Marketed Alien Covenant in a Heavy way, showcasing a Alien Connection... to try and Pull the General Public in.

And Also those Fans who was disappointed with Prometheus and would have loved to had seen a Alien 5

But in doing so... they had given away most of the Alien Scenes, they also made that poster that seemed to point to lots of Aliens, for Prometheus Fans this teased some kind of clues to Xenomorph Weapon in a War with the Engineers...

Some casual Fans would still be wondering is this a Prometheus Sequel... and seeing David/Walter they may have felt oh dear it is... seeing that Poster they may have felt.. so its actually about those Bald Humans Again...

So its hard to get them to come and see it, and once Press Screenings was under way... it got some mixed reactions... Once it came out however. Its was the Alien Franchise and Prometheus Fans who would Flock to see the Movie opening Weekend... Hence the higher first Weeks.

Then the disappointments by some came across, plus a few reactions from Casual Fans and so these had a effect on trying to get the Casual Fans to go and part with their ££££$$$$

The movie seemed to disappoint Alien/Prometheus Franchise fans a bit to the point that not as many would go back for 2nd, 3rd viewings etc.

THIS IS WHY The movie has taken a Massive Drop.


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 7:34 AM

@Chad Ripley

And this applies to others too...  the Quicker Gestation/Growth was maybe a needed Plot Device due to the movie having to try and cover a lot of bases.... and trying to have us see the First Xenomorph from the Egg Cave, and then have another latter on.. meant they had to Speed up the Life-Cycle.  I think in hindsight they should have had just ONE Xenomorph that Chest Busted on the Covenant Ship..

But a thing to maybe consider if the Novel seems to imply David was Re-creating the Xenomorph... he was improving it and this fits with how it looked different, how it grew faster and how it also seemed more aggressive and quicker.

It appears the Earlier Drafts did have David Re-creating it also.. before RS and FOX then decided to have it that David actually created the Xenomorph.



MemberNoobJun-02-2017 7:36 AM

It's funny that many posters claim this movie is a fail because it does not satisfy the Prometheus and / or Alien fans.

The problem with Alien Covenant is that it fails in essential things of a movie: characterization, logic narration, suspense/fear. It is a very predictable movie overall where the Covenant crew act like in any cheap B-movie. Even the prisoners (Alien 3) and the Betty crew (Alien Resurrection) had better characters than this one. Almost each scene where the Protomorph appeared was not scary at all. Even Aliens was more scary than this one!

Ridley is basically destroying any canon of the Alien franchise. I think if we get any sequel to Alien Covenant, it won't lead to the explanation of the Derelict on LV-426 at all. It was already a smack in the face that the engineers are tall humanoids instead of giant elephantine alien race.


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 7:40 AM

I already wrote in my pre-review, for me the most remarkable thing is the art and beauty of the sets and enviroment, an incredible photograph, and a space journey as 2001 it was, very bad written (plot), but this is not the director's fault, I m blaming against FOX to choosen as such bad screenplay this time. It would be nice to revise this movie over and over again but never by the plot of course!


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 7:43 AMDespite of some under-cooked characters, Prometheus was a decent movie. I thought they would make a Prometheus 2 and dissapointed by Alien Covenant. The prologue featuring Dr. Shaw and David itself has the potential of a movie. Their journey to Paradise, the engineer civilisation, how they dissappointed Shaw and David, and finally David had to destroye them. "Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 7:43 AM


I think they had to do what they had to do, because they backed themselves into a Corner in how they had covered a Alien Prequel..... 

*Space Jockey is not a Skeleton (But RS had for years said it was a Space Suit).

*Space Jockey is then a Humanoid who are too Human looking

*These Humanoids are Engineers who created Mankind, blah blah Ancient Aliens theory that was interesting for some, but not for others.

*These Humanoids was supposed to be 15ft then revised to 10ft but ULTIMATELY was only 7.5ft (got even smaller in AC)

*These Engineers had created a Bio-Weapon connected to the Xenomorph but never Spoon Fed to show how it was connected, did it come from a Xeno does it make Xenos?

*The movie followed Dr Shaw and her journey a religious scientist who was trying to discover Mankinds Origins and the Character did not settle to well with many.. or the themes it was exploring.

*Prometheus also touched upon the Creation Hierarchy theme, in which we are introduced to David Mankinds Creation who is showing signs of Rebellion and being a bit Naughty.

*The movie ended with David and Shaw surviving and going off to where these Engineers came from for answers, and a movie that would cover the Engineers and that Black Goo more, than showing us the Space Jockey and how those Eggs got on LV-426

So they backed themselves into a corner.... and then have done a U-Turn to try and get out of it, that had not Fully Satisfied those Fans who disliked where Prometheus was taking the Franchise..... while then also disappointing those fans who was liking the direction it was going.


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 7:56 AM

I wouldn't say its a flop..It still is going to gross a lot of money..

It's just that it had the potential to be so much more...One of the truly great Sci-Fi Movies...Now it's just another in the Alien Canon behind Alien & Aliens. In fact I am not even sure it is better than Aliens 3 or Prometheus.

No need to rehash all it's shortcomings as everyone on the forum is pretty well aware of the numerous plot holes.

Not a flop, but I would have to say it was disappointing to many on this forum and others as well.


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 7:58 AM

I left the theater wanting to like this film. I really wanted to like it. But I just has so many issues with it that I couldn't give it a high rating. My biggest issue is with the Facehugger and Lope. There is NO WAY he could have been impregnated with an ALIEN that fast. They got it off in seconds. And truly, I had a hard time keeping up with who is who and who was married to who and as a result, I didn't care about the characters. My list goes on but I don't want to beat a dead horse. I had major problems with the film.


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 8:06 AM

 Yes not out for the count yet but not good. Prometheus if was anywhere near as good as alien could of got at least 800 million dollars so 400 was a good indication things were not brilliant. A lot of that money came from people expecting the genius of alien...


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 8:25 AM

Alien Covenant is now officially an underrated movie. 

Chad Ripley

MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 8:36 AM


yeah I heard and read that the sped up gestation period was a plot device but I'm hoping it's something that can be corrected in the sequel. RS really can't expect fans to believe an alien can be produced that fast. That's why I am praying they have David experiment more on the Xenos and give them that biomechanical classic look they always had. He does have all those colonists and needs to create a queen somehow to sustain the race when he's gone. And he will be killed in the future probably by one of his creations. Which I'm hoping is our classic monster. I'm still thinking of some crazy splicing of Davids android body with the black goo. If he someone figures out how to use himself (android DNA) since he does have living tissue mixed in with the mechanical stuff and dies birthing the real Xenomorph. Not the quote RS more "animalistic" beast in AC. In Prometheus Shaw was also barren and couldn't have kids. Now that Daniels is screwed I'm hoping David uses her eggs and reproductive organs to create a queen. Unless AC had a hidden somewhere and that's how those eggs got there. But I don't think that was the case. Those eggs looked different then the other eggs in previous movies. 

Anyway I hope what I'm writing is the case. I think it would please the fans and people who aren't like us. 


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 8:42 AM

Alien opening Week made 33% back and Total 935%

Aliens opening Week made 54% back and Total 709%

Alien 3 opening Week made 39% back and Total 320%

Alien R opening Week made 24% back and Total 230%

Prometheus opening Week made 39% and Total 310%

AVP opening Week made 114% and Total 246%

AVPR opening Week made 25% and Total 322%

Alien Covenant had a opening week of 38% of making its Budget back which puts it similar to Prometheus... however it looks like Alien Covenant is actually suffering like AVP movie as in it appears the First Week is when those who really wanted to go and see it went to see it, and then after this the Movie never continued to have as big impact.

I think Alien Covenant looks likely to hit about $220-250M Total but time will tell... but as far as % its looking likely to be 7th/8th as far as Success of the 9 Movies (includes the AVP)

So it should sit around between a Alien Resurrection and Alien vs Predator. Which is unfortunate.


MemberMartianJun-02-2017 8:48 AM

I dont think RS wants to introduce the Queen... this is a Cameron Concept and i think RS wants to showcase some other way.

RS also called Aliens, Alien R and AVP movies just Action based Shoot-em-ups.... and so i dont think he will have us be shown Many Xenomorphs running after many Colonists/Military types.

Its pretty interesting to see where they are going, as David has control of the Covenant.. he only has TWO Face Huggers and so its a Question of how do they Procreate to be able to make Thousands of Eggs.

Mass Egg Morphing... would be more shocking than a Queen.

Or a Hybrid which means David must be able to extract and experiment on Xenomorph DNA and infuse it with Human Crew... otherwise he would have to head back to Paradise or of to LV-223 to obtain more Black Goo for this Purpose.

Its a bit on the nose and Shoe-horned for a Synthetic to be why the Xenomorph is Bio-Mechanical...  And David could not have created all those Experiments if the Xenomorph Strain Organisms see him as a Host and also if he can be infected by the Black Goo.

But Walter is a whole different kettle of fish... if they explore that the Walter Model is part Organic... and the Covenant has Spare Parts... thats the Recipe for a Bio-Mechanical Xenomorph right there.


Xeno's Paradox

MemberNoobJun-02-2017 8:53 AM

It's a good movie, and the objections I've heard thus far ring hollow.  Many fans pretend to know, for example, how long the gestation cycle should be for a protomorph when... hello... we've never actually been introduced to this beast before, only a close cousin.  I dunno, beyond the possibility that fans just aren't flocking to movies the way they used to, and the fact that it's probably difficult as hell to assemble a truly representative focus group as a director to vent one's ideas, I couldn't really explain why (that is, if) the movie is flopping.

drop your linen

MemberNoobJun-02-2017 8:56 AM

I had such high hopes for this film but I really didn't enjoy it. Not in a million years it is anywhere near as good as Alien..

Michelle Johnston

MemberContributorJun-02-2017 9:34 AM


"The problem with Alien Covenant is that it fails in essential things of a movie: characterization, logic narration, suspense/fear".

On the money fans of a franchise will inevitably get into all of their ownership narratives (what type of fans are they and what they wanted). But a movie has to be GOOD period then you engage unless your really do want a reboot of your favourite element.

There is one other simple fact that you have to take account of as its a franchise movie. The Beast is cooked.

Fox were worried in Prometheus.

Ridley was originally over it for the follow up.     

The one hook left for the greater audience of the original film is who the heck is the guy in the chair and that could have made a great story in one possibly two films. Your then in the franchise but from a fresh angle BUT you offer a clear and decisive connection story so you can trade on the emotional connection with the well done over cooked beast.

Its not complicated except Prometheus was a horse designed by a committee so you got a camel and as I have said elsewhere that first film had to be bullet proof to take the majority of core fans with them otherwise someone creeps in with the idea of getting Ripley, the ***** and Hicks back and then Paradise is Lost.

El Dude

MemberNoobJun-02-2017 9:54 AM

The next movie will get back to aliens on a spaceship of horrors. Im willing to bet we get a Queen, flash backs to the AC timeline and just before, somehow get to the space jokey. All in all the movie must answer questions, scare us, and make sense.


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 11:36 AM

Fox and Scott used the positive publicity Neil brought to the franchise when he released his concept art for ALIEN V and the return of Ripley, Hicks, Newt and presumably Bishop. Prometheus 2 wasn't going to get made until Neil came in and stirred up interest; so Scott and Fox put "Alien" in the title, a female lead like the "Ripley" character in and gave us an ultimately messy, disjointed, uninteresting movie.  Fox Should have just greenlighted Blomkamp's ALIEN V, I'd almost guarantee it would have done a ton more box office and been a commercial success. If they're having any board room meetings about the franchise's future, they better hope they didn't piss Neil, Weaver and Cameron off because that's the movie that *should* have been filmed. Blomkamp's ALIEN V. I'm still holding out slight hope that Fox will come to their senses, realize Scott has lost his touch and quietly removes him from the franchise and gives Blomkamp a go. Otherwise the series just needs to be put to rest for a few years(much like what Toho did with Godzilla) and come back in say 10-15 years with a reboot.

Michelle Johnston

MemberContributorJun-02-2017 11:45 AM


What your doing there is pick your fan narrative (Aliens) and come up with some horrible fan service. The idea of Sigorneay who executive produced A R coming back to life a second time for what ? Surely Covenant tells us in spades the beast is spent dead over even if you put Ripley de aged in front of it and why ?

Unless one can come up with something fresh and exciting and unexpected I say call it time. We each of us surely have many other glories to soak up rather than beat this thing to death.  


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 12:03 PM

What Fox needs to learn from the underperformance of both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant is that the general audience is as important, if not more so than the fan base - as such the premise for a movie needs to be clear, concise and desirable. Producing a predictable rehash movie rather than a potential visual masterpiece in the attempt to save investment and maximize profits only relates to audiences the studio's apparent lack of faith in their intellectual property; if a studio does not believe in its product why should the audience.

1. So they should have made it pg-13 to bring in more dough? I disagree. It's a real treat for the fans of the original and for everyone who likes a good sci-fi horror. I don't want another 'Alien light'

2. It takes more than good visuals to make an unforgettable film.

3. Fox had faith in the movie. That's why the release date was moved from august to may. But it was a bad call somehow. I think gotg2 did most of the damage...and social media relentlessly bashing Covenant.


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 12:06 PM

I actually thought that AC morphed into Alien 5 along the way, they should have carried on with A5 for the Xeno fans and delved deeper into the origin story. Though I suppose you have to be careful you dont end up going backwards. Maybe the concept art for A5 was released just to see what the public wanted.


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 12:32 PM

for me because they kiled shaw


MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 1:35 PM

Ahh the what ifs are just what remain.

Imagine HR Giger directing an alien movie.


we csn only dream


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 1:44 PM

"some fans will blindly follow Ridley Scott"


I stop read this absurd wall of text.


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 1:57 PM

In my opinion - most part of alien universes сonsists of fans Aliens. They love Colonial Marines, action, and final bosses like as childrens, some playing in "solders".


Many alien oriented sites and groups was creates by Aliens fans. They hate Ridley and his prequels. Because they afraid! They afraid that Aliens and QUEEEEEEEEEN will be uncanonized. And they want only action. I love Aliens, but fans of this movie is very aggressive and blind!


MemberContributorJun-02-2017 1:59 PM

And. I must say - Aliens characters was more stupid when Prometheus or Covenant crew.

Capt Torgo

MemberInitiateJun-02-2017 2:41 PM

Why can't Fox spend money on a really awesome "bulletproof" script like Michelle says......because almighty Ridley has to & or will do; insert his pretentious religious occult esoteric creationism blade runner  dumpster fire garbage into it thus polluting it. not to mention what chaos he creates in the editors room murdering whatever common sense the writers meant for the characters to actually have. I fear Ridley on a long leash just can't see the forest for the trees other than give us a beautifully shot film. Loved Prometheus and Exodus gods and Kings btw. I bet James Cameron in the editing room could have salvaged a commercial success with what Ridley shot.


MemberRespectedJun-02-2017 3:23 PM

SpellboundSynapses Yes, exactly. That "atheist beliefs" remark is unnecessary. On top of that, Ridley Scott's interest in religion throughout his career make him agnostic at the very least. I don't think a movie needs to have a stamp of "certified believer" to be a success. However, I agree that the movie is very misguided and the promotion was misleading, and that's why it flopped.


Member2KJun-02-2017 3:49 PM

'While apparently, some fans will blindly follow Ridley Scott no matter what direction he takes this franchise, a growing number of fans and the general audience are showing that they will not.'

Opinion piece or not, this statement is an impossible one.

As for the 'flop', if Covenant is a flop, then how should we characterise the first weekend (of 4 days) box office number 18,5 million of the megamovie Baywatch? Perhaps a megaflop.

Obviously, Covenant hasn't flopped. And this fact is a miracle taking into consideration the fact that certain fans did/do/are doing/will do so much work for its flopping (with the help of youtube channels, by linking articles bashing the movie, etc. right after its release).


MemberNoobJun-02-2017 10:14 PM

I wanted to love AC, but I just couldn't. There was not one interesting "character" in the entire film. It was visually dull, and had not one moment of real tension and suspense. Just a generic monster movie with killer insects in space. Thank god for Michael Fassbender, because without him, this film is unwatchable for me. In no way was this a proper sequel to Prometheus, which in my opinion is an extraordinary sci fi film. Yes, Prometheus had it's flaws, but I loved where RS was trying to take the series. I watched it the other night and was still blown away by it's beauty, and the questions it raised. That ending with Shaw and David flying away to meet the Engineers in Paradise is breathtaking. Killing Shaw was a fatal mistake. All in service of an uninteresting creature that just kills to breed...then kills some more.

The reviews for AC have been bizarrely positive, but word of mouth from actual fans and the general public is why it's sinking like a stone at the box office. There are still markets left to open, but there is no way it will come close to the total worldwide box office of Prometheus. I hope Fox, and RS choke on that fact.


Necronom 4

MemberRespectedJun-05-2017 2:06 PM

It's no surprise really. When one deviates from the original intention of a much loved product then that new product is going to suffer. I've always slated Cameron for his un-imaginative explanation for the Giger Alien's existence. But, at least he stayed with the gothic tone and sense of dread that the original gave us.

Ridley has let me down greatly with this latest instalment. Now, every time I watch ALIEN I will be fighting an internal battle between the Beauty and mystery of ALIEN and Giger's work on it and the sand castle stomping approach that Ridley has decided to take in order to shoehorn his lame interpretation into the show.

It would appear that the Ridley loyalists will breath in ANYTHING he puts out there. I understand that because I'd buy anything Giger was selling!

But the fact remains; THIS FRANCHISE IS DEAD! DEAD!!!     

Capt Dallas

MemberNoobJun-08-2017 8:50 PM

It is very clear that Alien Covenant is under performing when compared to Prometheus Box Office performance and expectations by 20th Century Fox. Currently at $69 million domestic, the domestic totals are almost 50% less than Prometheus with active theaters winding down. International returns are pending the movies release in the remaining markets. The domestic box office decline is a significant concern. Alien Covenant, attractive to a select group of the audience base of the franchise, is behaving in a manner characteristic of a niche film. Take away Prometheus from the franchise history and Alien Covenant falls in the average range of the franchise box office history (even considering inflation).

What factors have impacted AC movie success?

Before moving forward, I would recommend this article by the Guardian as reference. This article was published June 22, 2016 after filming had gotten underway. There are numerous links embedded in the article which reveal additional supporting information and interviews.


Story: The problems began with Prometheus. The Spaihts script, when examined as a whole, was a concept that incorporated creation mythology, xenomorph connections, engineers, and most of all answers which tied directly into Alien. Although unrefined and the subject of debate in this forum, it could have evolved into a balanced and compelling story. One which would attract core franchise followers and possibly a new wider audience. It's major drawback was it was just one movie which backed into Alien, a direct prequel. It left an open ending, which had similarities with John Carpenter's movie The Thing. Fox and Ridley Scott wanted a series of prequel movies. Damon Lindelof was given the task of modifying the script, diluting the story and developing an outline trajectory for multiple films. In an interview at that time, Lindelof prophetically stated, "I said to him (Ridley Scott) we should be prepared for people to feel frustrated if we are going to be withholding, so we have to be careful about what we are saving for later". It is important to mention that due to concerns by Scott and Fox, all the Xenomorph elements were removed from the Prometheus script by Lindelof. This was a deliberate decision and the finished product polarized the audience. The ensuing aftermath and vocal dissatisfaction with Prometheus drove the creative changes in the Alien Covenant story, it's financial consequences, and diminished audience. This is not an opinion, but an unfortunate fact.

Like it or not Alien Covenant is essentially a niche film in the Alien franchise, marketed at a specific segment of the audience. It was not successful at attracting a wider audience in the general public population. The franchise long term viability is now in question. In this scenario, all passionate franchise followers, are all impacted.

The ultimate responsibility falls on Fox Studios and Ridley Scott. The main opinion piece and many posts have identified a lot of issues: Xenomorph burnout, bad characterization, familiar narrative, lazy writing, inconsistent and contradictory concepts, and bad story telling.

Other Considerations:

1. A lot of people may disagree, but Prometheus was developed in 3D and 3D Imax. Ridley Scott did interviews prior to release touting the technology and the visual experience. Initial surveys had 85% of the sample size stating they intended to see the film in 3D. My first viewing was in 3D. Although I have not been successful at determining 3D revenue, ticket prices are significantly higher. Also 3D was very popular in international markets. If you think 3D is dead, 76% of people sampled recently said they would see Wonder Woman in 3D and the movie is a runaway success at the box office. Alien Covenant was not offered in 3D. It may not be a significant factor, and I am not saying it is, but it would be interesting to understand how it affected revenue vs. production cost. 3D is a tool to boost box office revenue.

2. David/Walter: The "Crazy AI" story line, IMO, does not have a future nor is it compelling. Its a disappointing direction (David = the new satan). Barring a miracle in the international box office, the current numbers reflect this. With all due respect to Micheal Fassbender, who is a great actor, as a headliner he is not capable of carrying a movie. He is more successful when he is part of an ensemble cast. If a sequel is approved, Ridley and the writers need to think this through. In a recent interview, Lindelof has dropped some hints with respect to the story direction. A strong story sells itself in good word of mouth. To reach a larger audience the story must leave it's niche. Also its very important for a movie to have a payoff for the audience. Alien Covenant had no payoff at all. This almost always alienates the audience and dooms repeat business (word of mouth).

3. The online marketing campaign was very extensive, including the comic con clips. Unfortunately too much of the movie was revealed. I remember an interview where Katherine Waterston tells Ridley Scott to shut up because he was revealing too much. Too much information = no suspense if the audience knows what is going to happen. The best marketing strategy is free, it good word of mouth = great story and payoff.

4. The Shaw dilemma: James Cameron is quoted as saying in an interview after Alien 3 foundered that killing Hicks and Newt was a slap in the face to the fans. He was right. For whatever reason, Alien Covenant succeeds at making the main protagonist story arc in Prometheus, absolutely pointless. A sure sign of improvisation to the story line. In a way, the character of Shaw is a reflection of a large section of the audience, we are both searching for the answers! Not only is Shaw eliminated from the story, so are the engineers. Substitute mad David as the de facto creator (in the process creating more questions than answers) and Daniels as a new Ripley. It is a mistake to try and recreate what Sigourney Weaver accomplished in Ripley because comparisons will always fall short and it really depends on the script. Shaw was never intended to be a Ripley character. The issues with Shaw were script related. Leading up to Prometheus, Shaw's fate created a lot of suspense online. When spoilers came out before the release of the film revealing Shaw's demise, it created disappointment. The story arc was poorly handled. Ridley basically just went medieval on Shaw.

5. Ridley Scott is not washed up. He enjoyed great commercial success with the Martian which drew a wide audience, very good word of mouth, and gave the audience a satisfying payoff. Some critics called it a feel good movie. In the final analysis its all about story telling, a good script, execution, audience payoff, and positive word of mouth. Up till now the creative decisions have been driven by miscalculated business decisions. (Bad bets) You can be certain that the Blade Runner sequel will receive close scrutiny. Although Ridley is not directing, he was the last word in the creative direction. He needs a winner. (I believe Warner is the studio)

6. Alien Covenant was released during a time of heavy film congestion which siphoned the general audience. These movies may not be competing in the same genre, but they are in essence competing for the same audience money. If there is a sequel, it should be put in a position to be successful. (Box Office).

I would like to think that Ridley is creating a painting which is only half done, and looking at it right now doesn't make any sense. But when he finishes it, it becomes a masterpiece. Fool me once , shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. 

Dr. Curt Connors

MemberContributorJun-30-2017 11:47 AM

Prometheus made way more money than Covenant has and will. I agree with everyone on here saying the franchise is dead and it should be. The more crappy movies that keep getting made take away from the legacy of the first films. Ridley is ruining the first Alien movie which he directed and this franchise and universe has completely gone off the rails. There is no consistency in any of the movies, it's become a ****ty horror movie franchise when it was once great. It's really sad and funny at the same time.

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