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Alien: Covenant Opens To Just Under $30 Million in China

With the film down to a few showings in a few cinemas across the United Kingdom and the United States, Alien: Covenant has just opened in China on the 16th to a fairly decent opening weekend of just under $30 million, pushing The Mummy off the top of the Chinese film charts and nearly equaling the $34 million that Prometheus took in its entire run in China.

Despite pretty decent critical and fan reviews, Alien: Covenant struggled to maintain any momentum in the Box Office having taken nearly $215 million. It’s not a flop by any stretch but it hasn’t been the massive success 20th Century Fox were likely after.

“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 on Friday, followed by just under $11 million on Saturday and $7.5 million on 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.”

 Alien: Covenant Opens To Just Under  Million in China

Alien: Covenant concept art by Wayne Haag.

The Chinese cinema regulators also cut around 6 minutes worth of footage from Alien: Covenant. Most of the edits seemed to have been around the Aliens and Neomorphs and their associated gore. However, the regulators also went for the David and Walter kiss, removing that scene as well.

Alien: Covenant seems to be making a similar impact on the Chinese cinema-goers as it did in the United States and Europe, currently rated as 7.4 on Douban. After China, the next big region for Alien: Covenant’s release is Japan on the 15th of August.

Keep a close eye on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Covenant! You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien fans on our forums!



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  1. kwisatz
    Again the films you found are origin storys. Studios know quite well that origin storys are underperforming from time time and they get a sequel anyway because implied money. (For example compare: the first Nolan Batman and its sequels, the first Captain America and its sequels, X-Men: First Class and its first sequel etc.)

    A:C is not an origin story and its BO already dropped compared to Prometheus, which contains the origin story in this case. They already trimmed down the production cost (unlike they did with the Batman sequel, where it went up instead; Ridley sure is working economically but in my eyes it already shows that FOX has lost a significant amount of trust in Ridley pulling this franchise off financially).

    If you dont take into account these factors, which are obviously "available" also, your theory is worth ****.
  2. bb-15
    But as I explained to you earlier, I was not making any theories about sequels.

    Earlier, you speculated about why a studio would choose to release a sequel to a film which had box office which was about 2.5 times its production budget. 

    From me;

    Other films that did about 2.5 times the production budget at the box office?
    "Batsman Begins"
    "Star Trek (2009)"

    Both those films got sequels. They were not flops.
    If Japan's box office is about $20 million, there is still hope imo that "Covenant" will get a low budget sequel.

    Your reply with emphasis by me.

    The catch is that studios need most revenues right away to cover operating costs and investors' returns. Given that, if they find better projects, then they may choose to shelve those that are riskier, or as you put it resort to lower budgets.

    About the two examples, I'm guessing that they represent more attractive franchises compared to Alien.

    What is being discussed here to me is the decision by the studio to release a sequel (or not to release one).
    I have found several films which got sequels that performed at the box office (compared to the production budget) at about the same level to where "Covenant" should end up after its Japan release.
    - I have taken the known public financial information which could be part of the studio's decision.

    In terms of testing a film theory about what a studio "may choose" to decide about a sequel release, I think that's the best I can do.

    Rather, I explained how studios profit.

    You gave expense / income calculations. I already knew about that.
    Still presenting a thought experiment/film theory about studio finances doesn't bring much clarity imo to when studios will approve of sequels.

    For the examples you gave above, you need to include marketing cost...

    Not really.
    1. Marketing costs / total film expenses are very hard to find and are almost always unknown to the public.
    2. If I did have the total movie expenses, I could give a more accurate measure (using formulas) of whether a film lost money or made money.
    http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/movie-profits-december-snl-kagan/

    * But even if I had the total film expense information (and almost always, none of us have it), that still doesn't give an answer to the question of when a studio may approve a sequel for a particular movie or not.
    - I don't work for the company where those decisions are made.
    - What I have looked for is the cut off area, using numbers available to the public, of when studios may approve a sequel.
    It seems again to be when box office is about 2.5 x the production budget.
    - Here's another example (from the-numbers.com);

    2015   The Divergent Series: Insurgent; production budget:   $110,000,000, worldwide box office:   $295,279,072, ratio box office/budget = 2.68
    Sequel approved.

    Given that, there are many reasons why sequels are approved even if studios did not earn as much. Read my previous post for details.

    I understand. Those are your theories about why sequels are approved or are not approved.
    Again, it's our privilege to bring up film theories/thought experiments.
    - What I have done is to find the cut off area between box office and production budgets to determine the zone of where roughly there is a chance for a sequel to be approved.
     
    To find out why sequels are approved, you need to look at the other revenue streams of the studio.

    - That information is not available.
    * To recap what is not available to the public;
    1. Total film expenses.
    2. All revenue streams for a studio.
    3. The effects of arcane Hollywood Accounting which tries to hide film profits.
    4. Studio executive discussions about sequel decisions. 

    * What is known?
    - Box office numbers and production budgets.
    - Therefore a ratio between those two numbers can be figured out to find about where studios are approving sequels based on that.

    Here's another article to consider:

    "How is a cinema’s box office income distributed?"

    https://stephenfollows.com/how-a-cinemas-box-office-income-is-distributed/

    Thanks for the link.
    I have read several articles about that topic including one by the author you posted, Stephen Fellows.

    https://stephenfollows.com/how-movies-make-money-hollywood-blockbusters/

    - Here are a couple more articles about studio finances;

    http://io9.gizmodo.com/5747305/how-much-money-does-a-movie-need-to-make-to-be-profitable

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

    ;)
  3. monkeylove

    Prometheus is the highest grossing Alien film, bud. A Fox executive recently said Covenant will make the studio a profit even though it underperformed. Can you do some more basic google searches before you post stuff like this, please?

    As explained earlier, you have to cut gross revenues by a third to a half because that goes to distributors, then add marketing cost (sometimes, almost the same as production cost). Then add a percentage for the studio's (and investors'?) profit margin, and assume that merchandising will not be able to cover production, marketing, and distribution right away. There are some details here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

    and more shared by others in the rest of this thread.

    For example, for a worst-case scenario:

    production cost: $100 million
    marketing cost: $100 million
    profit margin (10 pct): $20 million

    revenues (50 percent goes to distributors): $420 million ($220 million to the studio to cover both costs plus profit; the other $200 million to distributors)

    This explains why some argue that a movie must earn three to four times its production cost.

    Because studios may have more projects, then any weak performance in a movie can be covered by others, which means there is always a chance that a franchise may continue. It's also possible that new ideas may be given which might attract investors. On the other hand, if other projects look more promising, then producers may choose to shelve franchises temporarily or lower budgets. In several cases, they may even lower budgets to ensure that they profit or even receive more profits.

    Finally, there is the issue of increasing budgets, more competition, higher ticket prices, and greater risks:

    "Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predict film industry 'implosion'"

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jun/13/steven-spielberg-george-lucas-film-industry

    That is, at some point successive failures in blockbusters (e.g., high grosses that are barely able to cover soaring costs) may mean a drastic change in what studios release and the way franchises are developed.



    My point is that you and I are not studio executives.
    Another of my points is that all we can know if our theories about sequels are correct is by what past box office/budget performance can lead to a sequel.

    * Besides, several Star Trek and X-Men movies (and Batman Begins) getting sequels approved with box office ~2.5 x (or below) the production budget, there are other moves where this happened.
    - From the-numbers.com
    - Jan 20, 2006   Underworld: Evolution, production budget:   $45,000,000, worldwide box office:    $113,417,762,   ratio box office/budget = 2.5
    Sequel approved. 
    - Jan 23, 2009   Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, production budget:   $35,000,000, worldwide box office:   $89,102,315, ratio box office/budget = 2.5
    Sequel approved.
    - Jan 20, 2012   Underworld: Awakening, production budget:   $70,000,000, worldwide box office:   $160,379,930, ratio box office/budget = 2.3
    Sequel approved.

    - A straight comedy movie, Analyze This, Production Budget: $80 million, Worldwide box office:    $176,885,658, ratio box office/budget = 2.2   (from Box Office Mojo)
    Sequel approved.        

    - I've already mentioned "AVP". It's box office was above 2.5 x the production budget but it's below 3x at around 2.87. 
    Sequel approved.

    But as I explained to you earlier, I was not making any theories about sequels. Rather, I explained how studios profit.

    For the examples you gave above, you need to include marketing cost (usually, almost the same amount as the production budget) and then deduct 30 to 50 percent of box office receipts (because they go to distributors).

    Given that, there are many reasons why sequels are approved even if studios did not earn as much. Read my previous post for details.


    We all are entitled to our personal taste about any film.
    - But our personal taste should not be part of this discussion. (Individual personal taste does not = professional critic rankings or large viewer polls.)
    The personal taste of a few individuals has nothing to do with the fact that several movies exist which got sequels that had box office which was about 2.5 x their production budgets.   

    - As for the box office for "Prometheus", it was 3.1 x its production budget. And it got a sequel. Many films get sequels when their box office is 3 x the production budget.
    And comparing "Prometheus" box office with some other Alien franchise films?

    - Alien3 - production budget $50 million, world wide box office, $159 million, ratio box office/budget = 3.18
    Sequel approved and "Prometheus" did about the same with its box office / budget performance.
    - Alien Resurrection - production budget $75 million, world wide box office, $161 million,  ratio box office/budget = 2.15
    Sequel not approved.
    But both "Prometheus" and "Covenant" have outperformed Resurrection.

    * Bottom line; again, going by the publicly known facts about film history, box office and production budgets, if the box office for "Covenant" gets to 2.5 x its production budget, it could get a sequel.

    ;)

    To recap, you need to add a marketing cost to the production budget to get the total cost of the studio, then decrease the box office receipts by 30 to 50 percent because those are used to pay distributors. That means revenues will have to be three to four times the production cost.

    To find out why sequels are approved, you need to look at the other revenue streams of the studio. That means other projects might be covering weak ones.


    Here's another article to consider:

    "How is a cinema’s box office income distributed?"

    https://stephenfollows.com/how-a-cinemas-box-office-income-is-distributed/





  4. bb-15

    My disagreements with this argument;

    1. The claim that box office needs 4 x the production budget to be get a sequel is just a theory.   
    * We can test the theory of when studios approve sequels by looking at the numbers and seeing when sequels are approved. (From the numbers.com website)
    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/X-Men#tab=summary
    - May 26, 2006   X-Men: The Last Stand, production budget:   $210,000,000, worldwide box office:   $459,359,555, ratio box office/budget = 2.19
    Sequel approved.
    - May 1, 2009   X-Men Origins: Wolverine, production budget:   $150,000,000, worldwide box office:   $374,825,760, ratio box office/budget = 2.49
    Sequel approved.
    - Jun 3, 2011   X-Men: First Class, production budget:   $160,000,000   worldwide box office:   $355,408,30   ratio box office/budget = 2.22
    Sequel approved.

    So, that's two franchises (Star Trek & X-Men) where sequels were approved with box office being about 2.5 x the production budget or even less.   
    I could find more examples.

    2. A movie makes money from more than just theater box office. There are disk sales (DVD/Blu-ray), streaming, cable broadcast fees, and with science fiction there are merchandising fees from toys and comics.

    ** Back to "Covenant"; a sequel could happen if its box office gets to 2.5 the production budget. Why? Because there are multiple movies which got sequels (like Batman Begins, Star Trek, X-Men) where that kind of performance got a sequel.

    3. The Alien franchise is considered to be one of the top science fiction movie/TV franchises of all time.
    http://screenrant.com/greatest-science-fiction-franchises-ever/

    The challenge for the Fox studio is to figure out how to release an Alien franchise movie which can get better box office.
    Whether the studio goes with a film more like "Prometheus" or "Aliens", there is the potential to make money and because of that, the Alien franchise is not dead. 

    ;)

    The point isn't that a sequel requires revenues at up to four times the budget.

    My point is that you and I are not studio executives.
    Another of my points is that all we can know if our theories about sequels are correct is by what past box office/budget performance can lead to a sequel.

    * Besides, several Star Trek and X-Men movies (and Batman Begins) getting sequels approved with box office ~2.5 x (or below) the production budget, there are other moves where this happened.
    - From the-numbers.com
    - Jan 20, 2006   Underworld: Evolution, production budget:   $45,000,000, worldwide box office:    $113,417,762,   ratio box office/budget = 2.5
    Sequel approved. 
    - Jan 23, 2009   Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, production budget:   $35,000,000, worldwide box office:   $89,102,315, ratio box office/budget = 2.5
    Sequel approved.
    - Jan 20, 2012   Underworld: Awakening, production budget:   $70,000,000, worldwide box office:   $160,379,930, ratio box office/budget = 2.3
    Sequel approved.

    - A straight comedy movie, Analyze This, Production Budget: $80 million, Worldwide box office:    $176,885,658, ratio box office/budget = 2.2   (from Box Office Mojo)
    Sequel approved.        

    - I've already mentioned "AVP". It's box office was above 2.5 x the production budget but it's below 3x at around 2.87. 
    Sequel approved.

    The Alien franchise is one of the best, but that's not shown in the two recent releases.

    We all are entitled to our personal taste about any film.
    - But our personal taste should not be part of this discussion. (Individual personal taste does not = professional critic rankings or large viewer polls.)
    The personal taste of a few individuals has nothing to do with the fact that several movies exist which got sequels that had box office which was about 2.5 x their production budgets.   

    - As for the box office for "Prometheus", it was 3.1 x its production budget. And it got a sequel. Many films get sequels when their box office is 3 x the production budget.
    And comparing "Prometheus" box office with some other Alien franchise films?

    - Alien3 - production budget $50 million, world wide box office, $159 million, ratio box office/budget = 3.18
    Sequel approved and "Prometheus" did about the same with its box office / budget performance.
    - Alien Resurrection - production budget $75 million, world wide box office, $161 million,  ratio box office/budget = 2.15
    Sequel not approved.
    But both "Prometheus" and "Covenant" have outperformed Resurrection.

    * Bottom line; again, going by the publicly known facts about film history, box office and production budgets, if the box office for "Covenant" gets to 2.5 x its production budget, it could get a sequel.

    ;)
  5. cucuchu
    Did Fox hope that Covenant would match or surpass Prometheus' box office numbers? You bet they did.
    Was Covenant a flop? Absolutely not.
    It was a disappointment and I'm sure the execs are really trying to figure why it didn't match their expectations. But I'm pretty sure it will make them a tidy, little profit and it will definitely not kill one of Fox's signature franchises.

    Didn't a Fox rep recently say Covenant hit all the marks they were shooting for but reception has been tepid at best so another movie is uncertain? That is certainly damning to hear before the BluRay/Digital even releases.

    I don't think we are to expect another one, and most certainly not one helmed by Scott. These films require an at least somewhat decent budget and there is no longer an audience left to profit off that budget.  I love the franchise and enjoyed Covenant but I accept the franchise is dead. Maybe one day someone can fill that Sci Fi horror niche again, but it will not be another Alien film.
  6. windebieste
    Personally, I feel this was the biggest mistake Fox made and I could never figure out this myself.  Why rush it?  Why not just wait until October as planned originally?  As you say, that's the ideal time to release it.

    -Windebieste.
  7. Hemi
    Did Fox hope that Covenant would match or surpass Prometheus' box office numbers? You bet they did.
    Was Covenant a flop? Absolutely not.
    It was a disappointment and I'm sure the execs are really trying to figure why it didn't match their expectations. But I'm pretty sure it will make them a tidy, little profit and it will definitely not kill one of Fox's signature franchises.

    What I find weird is why release it in the summer. This could have made some serious money with a Halloween release no?

    Were they really this confident?
  8. Ingwar
    But if you consider its budget and marketing cost then it's not. In relation between box office and budget/marketing highest grossing Alien movies are Alien and Aliens.
    Gross doesn't take into account costs so yes, it is the highest grossing movie.

    But it should be taken it into an account. Otherwise box office it's just an illusion. Budget and marketing costs should be considered. Prometheus didn't earn 403 millions. It sold tickets for 403 millions ... minus budget and marketing and so on.
  9. Kane's other son
    Did Fox hope that Covenant would match or surpass Prometheus' box office numbers? You bet they did.
    Was Covenant a flop? Absolutely not.
    It was a disappointment and I'm sure the execs are really trying to figure why it didn't match their expectations. But I'm pretty sure it will make them a tidy, little profit and it will definitely not kill one of Fox's signature franchises.
  10. Ingwar
    Prometheus is the highest grossing Alien film, bud. A Fox executive recently said Covenant will make the studio a profit even though it underperformed. Can you do some more basic google searches before you post stuff like this, please?

    But if you consider its budget and marketing cost then it's not. In relation between box office and budget/marketing highest grossing Alien movies are Alien and Aliens.
  11. Scorpio
    Box office has not been strong for Alien films since 1992.  Best they can hope for is making back 3x the budget.  And these movies are not cheap to make, like other series.  They went cheap for AVPR and it is the lowest grossing of the franchise.

    2.4 is a good result, considering it hasn't opened in Japan and Cambodia yet, that could go to 2.6 or 2.7 times the budget.

    Alien is still the top-grossing horror franchise - https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonthompson/2016/10/27/the-13-highest-grossing-horror-film-franchises-of-all-time-at-the-u-s-box-office/#535ce32f68d1
  12. monkeylove

    My disagreements with this argument;

    1. The claim that box office needs 4 x the production budget to be get a sequel is just a theory.   
    * We can test the theory of when studios approve sequels by looking at the numbers and seeing when sequels are approved. (From the numbers.com website)
    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/X-Men#tab=summary
    - May 26, 2006   X-Men: The Last Stand, production budget:   $210,000,000, worldwide box office:   $459,359,555, ratio box office/budget = 2.19
    Sequel approved.
    - May 1, 2009   X-Men Origins: Wolverine, production budget:   $150,000,000, worldwide box office:   $374,825,760, ratio box office/budget = 2.49
    Sequel approved.
    - Jun 3, 2011   X-Men: First Class, production budget:   $160,000,000   worldwide box office:   $355,408,30   ratio box office/budget = 2.22
    Sequel approved.

    So, that's two franchises (Star Trek & X-Men) where sequels were approved with box office being about 2.5 x the production budget or even less.   
    I could find more examples.

    2. A movie makes money from more than just theater box office. There are disk sales (DVD/Blu-ray), streaming, cable broadcast fees, and with science fiction there are merchandising fees from toys and comics.

    ** Back to "Covenant"; a sequel could happen if its box office gets to 2.5 the production budget. Why? Because there are multiple movies which got sequels (like Batman Begins, Star Trek, X-Men) where that kind of performance got a sequel.

    3. The Alien franchise is considered to be one of the top science fiction movie/TV franchises of all time.
    http://screenrant.com/greatest-science-fiction-franchises-ever/

    The challenge for the Fox studio is to figure out how to release an Alien franchise movie which can get better box office.
    Whether the studio goes with a film more like "Prometheus" or "Aliens", there is the potential to make money and because of that, the Alien franchise is not dead. 

    ;)

    The point isn't that a sequel requires revenues at up to four times the budget. It's that a movie requires revenues at that level in order to profit. For a sequel to be approved, many other factors will be involved, including earnings from other movies produced by the studio, whether or not producers think that they will do better next time, whether or not investors will bite, what other projects are ready to be funded and that might earn more, etc.

    Movies do earn from merchandising, but production and marketing involve annual operating costs that need to be paid. Also, studios need to profit to show investors that their businesses are healthy and can afford to expand operations the following year, which is important given the fact that they are competing with each other. It also doesn't help that they are trying to outdo each other with tent-pole flicks each year at expensive ticket prices, and larger budgets needed to make films look expensive and spectacular. That means movies have to earn as fast as possible.

    The Alien franchise is one of the best, but that's not shown in the two recent releases. And those two movies were considered only after almost two decades after Alien: Resurrection and after figuring out whether they should make sequels (or something else) or prequels. Meanwhile, the studio tried experimenting by combining aliens and predators.


    The end of 'Covenant' strongly hints at what's to come.  Scott has already noted that the Engineers will be returning to find their planet decimated, along with several other factions.  His 'war of the worlds' statement has surfaced more than once, now.  We have already had the first hints at what is to follow.

    In this regard, the next movie (and possibly the one after that) will be a major melting pot of all things 'ALIEN' and 'PROMETHEUS'.

    -Windebieste.

    Reminds me of the present film, which tries to combine aspects of the first two movies plus continue the prequel.
  13. windebieste
    The end of 'Covenant' strongly hints at what's to come.  Scott has already noted that the Engineers will be returning to find their planet decimated, along with several other factions.  His 'war of the worlds' statement has surfaced more than once, now.  We have already had the first hints at what is to follow.

    In this regard, the next movie (and possibly the one after that) will be a major melting pot of all things 'ALIEN' and 'PROMETHEUS'.

    -Windebieste.
  14. bb-15

    I'm not an executive in a film studio.
    The way I approach this is; I don't pretend to try to fully understand Hollywood accounting or how studio economics works.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

    * What I can do is look at box office performance with movies in a science fiction film franchise like Star Trek. I can see their production budgets and their worldwide box office and what films got sequels.
    That lets me understand about how much money a Star Trek film (or even an Alien movie) needs to make (compared with its production budget), in order to get a sequel.

    - "Star Trek: Insurrection" was a slight flop. Production Budget: $58 million. Double that = $116 million. But the film's box office = $112,587,658.
    Still "Insurrection" got a sequel.

    - The sequel, "Star Trek:Nemesis" flopped hard. What I'd call a bomb. Production Budget: $60 million. Worldwide box office: $67,312,826.
    Barely above 1 x production budget. Imo it lost $millions and that ended Star Trek movies for 7 years.

    * Back to "Covenant". It could get up to about 2.5 its production budget from Japan's box office.
    Both "Star Trek (2009)" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" made box office that was about 2.5 times their production budgets.
    Those Star Trek movies got sequels.
    - "AVP" had a Production Budget: of $60 million (Box Office Mojo) to $70 million (Google). Box office: $172,544,654. Using the Google budget = box office about 2.5 x the production budget. (The Box Office Mojo budget = box office 2.86 x the production budget.) And "AVP" got a sequel.

    - Conclusion based on this information?
    If "Covenant" makes about 2.5 times its production budget (after its Japan release), it could get a sequel.

    * As for comparing a Star Trek film with an Alien movie; in several ways "Prometheus" was similar to a sci-if adventure Star Trek film.
    There can be an overlap between the two franchises in terms of overall style imo.
    For instance "Star Trek First Contact" had horror elements in a sci-if adventure (like "Prometheus"). And "First Contact" made about 3 x its production budget. 

    ;)

    I'm not sure, but I think distributors get around a third of box office receipts, and in several cases probably half.

    In general, then, one can consider doubling the cost (because of marketing), and then cutting revenues by a third to a half (because they go to distributors), then adding ten percent for the profit margin. In a worst-case scenario:

    Production cost: $100m
    Marketing cost: $100m
    Total cost: $200m

    Box office receipts should be $300m to $400m (because $100m to $200m will go to distributors) plus 10 pct profit margin (around $20 million).

    Other factors may be considered in decision-making, such as domestic sales, whether or not there are other franchises or projects that may make more money, and so on.

    Finally, I think one reason why the Star Trek franchise keeps going is that its revenues do not rely solely on box office receipts but multiple movies and TV shows.

    My disagreements with this argument;

    1. The claim that box office needs 4 x the production budget to be get a sequel is just a theory.   
    * We can test the theory of when studios approve sequels by looking at the numbers and seeing when sequels are approved. (From the numbers.com website)
    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/X-Men#tab=summary
    - May 26, 2006   X-Men: The Last Stand, production budget:   $210,000,000, worldwide box office:   $459,359,555, ratio box office/budget = 2.19
    Sequel approved.
    - May 1, 2009   X-Men Origins: Wolverine, production budget:   $150,000,000, worldwide box office:   $374,825,760, ratio box office/budget = 2.49
    Sequel approved.
    - Jun 3, 2011   X-Men: First Class, production budget:   $160,000,000   worldwide box office:   $355,408,30   ratio box office/budget = 2.22
    Sequel approved.

    So, that's two franchises (Star Trek & X-Men) where sequels were approved with box office being about 2.5 x the production budget or even less.   
    I could find more examples.

    2. A movie makes money from more than just theater box office. There are disk sales (DVD/Blu-ray), streaming, cable broadcast fees, and with science fiction there are merchandising fees from toys and comics.

    ** Back to "Covenant"; a sequel could happen if its box office gets to 2.5 the production budget. Why? Because there are multiple movies which got sequels (like Batman Begins, Star Trek, X-Men) where that kind of performance got a sequel.

    3. The Alien franchise is considered to be one of the top science fiction movie/TV franchises of all time.
    http://screenrant.com/greatest-science-fiction-franchises-ever/

    The challenge for the Fox studio is to figure out how to release an Alien franchise movie which can get better box office.
    Whether the studio goes with a film more like "Prometheus" or "Aliens", there is the potential to make money and because of that, the Alien franchise is not dead. 

    ;)
  15. monkeylove

    I'm not an executive in a film studio.
    The way I approach this is; I don't pretend to try to fully understand Hollywood accounting or how studio economics works.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

    * What I can do is look at box office performance with movies in a science fiction film franchise like Star Trek. I can see their production budgets and their worldwide box office and what films got sequels.
    That lets me understand about how much money a Star Trek film (or even an Alien movie) needs to make (compared with its production budget), in order to get a sequel.

    - "Star Trek: Insurrection" was a slight flop. Production Budget: $58 million. Double that = $116 million. But the film's box office = $112,587,658.
    Still "Insurrection" got a sequel.

    - The sequel, "Star Trek:Nemesis" flopped hard. What I'd call a bomb. Production Budget: $60 million. Worldwide box office: $67,312,826.
    Barely above 1 x production budget. Imo it lost $millions and that ended Star Trek movies for 7 years.

    * Back to "Covenant". It could get up to about 2.5 its production budget from Japan's box office.
    Both "Star Trek (2009)" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" made box office that was about 2.5 times their production budgets.
    Those Star Trek movies got sequels.
    - "AVP" had a Production Budget: of $60 million (Box Office Mojo) to $70 million (Google). Box office: $172,544,654. Using the Google budget = box office about 2.5 x the production budget. (The Box Office Mojo budget = box office 2.86 x the production budget.) And "AVP" got a sequel.

    - Conclusion based on this information?
    If "Covenant" makes about 2.5 times its production budget (after its Japan release), it could get a sequel.

    * As for comparing a Star Trek film with an Alien movie; in several ways "Prometheus" was similar to a sci-if adventure Star Trek film.
    There can be an overlap between the two franchises in terms of overall style imo.
    For instance "Star Trek First Contact" had horror elements in a sci-if adventure (like "Prometheus"). And "First Contact" made about 3 x its production budget. 

    ;)

    I'm not sure, but I think distributors get around a third of box office receipts, and in several cases probably half.

    In general, then, one can consider doubling the cost (because of marketing), and then cutting revenues by a third to a half (because they go to distributors), then adding ten percent for the profit margin. In a worst-case scenario:

    Production cost: $100m
    Marketing cost: $100m
    Total cost: $200m

    Box office receipts should be $300m to $400m (because $100m to $200m will go to distributors) plus 10 pct profit margin (around $20 million).

    Other factors may be considered in decision-making, such as domestic sales, whether or not there are other franchises or projects that may make more money, and so on.

    Finally, I think one reason why the Star Trek franchise keeps going is that its revenues do not rely solely on box office receipts but multiple movies and TV shows.
  16. nanison
    I think a sequel is gonna come but there will be lots of rewriting and meddling from the bosses and especially a smaller budget but that last part could be a blessing, as creative juices flow better when less money is involved.

    Personally I'm not waiting for it but I'm a fanboy so i'll get excited anyway.
  17. bb-15
    Studios are like casinos. They always win. Studio doesn't make one movie per yer. They make dozens. One movie flops, another succeeds.

    If one flops and another succeeds, then the studio might not do well in the end. It requires a healthy profit margin in order to expand operations and compete with other studios, while investors want better returns.



    Yes. And besides merchandising there's $millions from disk sales, streaming, and fees from TV cable broadcasts.

    Back to box office, "Covenant" will make more money in Japan. I hope the box office will end up at about 2.5 times its production budget.
    It that happens, it's not great but it isn't bad.

    Other films that did about 2.5 times the production budget at the box office?
    "Batsman Begins"
    "Star Trek (2009)"

    Both those films got sequels. They were not flops.
    If Japan's box office is about $20 million, there is still hope imo that "Covenant" will get a low budget sequel.

    ;)

    The catch is that studios need most revenues right away to cover operating costs and investors' returns. Given that, if they find better projects, then they may choose to shelve those that are riskier, or as you put it resort to lower budgets.

    About the two examples, I'm guessing that they represent more attractive franchises compared to Alien.

    I'm not an executive in a film studio.
    The way I approach this is; I don't pretend to try to fully understand Hollywood accounting or how studio economics works.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

    * What I can do is look at box office performance with movies in a science fiction film franchise like Star Trek. I can see their production budgets and their worldwide box office and what films got sequels.
    That lets me understand about how much money a Star Trek film (or even an Alien movie) needs to make (compared with its production budget), in order to get a sequel.

    - "Star Trek: Insurrection" was a slight flop. Production Budget: $58 million. Double that = $116 million. But the film's box office = $112,587,658.
    Still "Insurrection" got a sequel.

    - The sequel, "Star Trek:Nemesis" flopped hard. What I'd call a bomb. Production Budget: $60 million. Worldwide box office: $67,312,826.
    Barely above 1 x production budget. Imo it lost $millions and that ended Star Trek movies for 7 years.

    * Back to "Covenant". It could get up to about 2.5 its production budget from Japan's box office.
    Both "Star Trek (2009)" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" made box office that was about 2.5 times their production budgets.
    Those Star Trek movies got sequels.
    - "AVP" had a Production Budget: of $60 million (Box Office Mojo) to $70 million (Google). Box office: $172,544,654. Using the Google budget = box office about 2.5 x the production budget. (The Box Office Mojo budget = box office 2.86 x the production budget.) And "AVP" got a sequel.

    - Conclusion based on this information?
    If "Covenant" makes about 2.5 times its production budget (after its Japan release), it could get a sequel.

    * As for comparing a Star Trek film with an Alien movie; in several ways "Prometheus" was similar to a sci-if adventure Star Trek film.
    There can be an overlap between the two franchises in terms of overall style imo.
    For instance "Star Trek First Contact" had horror elements in a sci-if adventure (like "Prometheus"). And "First Contact" made about 3 x its production budget. 

    ;) 
  18. monkeylove
    Studios are like casinos. They always win. Studio doesn't make one movie per yer. They make dozens. One movie flops, another succeeds.

    If one flops and another succeeds, then the studio might not do well in the end. It requires a healthy profit margin in order to expand operations and compete with other studios, while investors want better returns.



    Yes. And besides merchandising there's $millions from disk sales, streaming, and fees from TV cable broadcasts.

    Back to box office, "Covenant" will make more money in Japan. I hope the box office will end up at about 2.5 times its production budget.
    It that happens, it's not great but it isn't bad.

    Other films that did about 2.5 times the production budget at the box office?
    "Batsman Begins"
    "Star Trek (2009)"

    Both those films got sequels. They were not flops.
    If Japan's box office is about $20 million, there is still hope imo that "Covenant" will get a low budget sequel.

    ;)

    The catch is that studios need most revenues right away to cover operating costs and investors' returns. Given that, if they find better projects, then they may choose to shelve those that are riskier, or as you put it resort to lower budgets.

    About the two examples, I'm guessing that they represent more attractive franchises compared to Alien.

  19. bb-15
    Box office is not everything as well.  These movies have a long life with merchandising.  The original Alien is still making money.

    Yes. And besides merchandising there's $millions from disk sales, streaming, and fees from TV cable broadcasts.

    Back to box office, "Covenant" will make more money in Japan. I hope the box office will end up at about 2.5 times its production budget.
    It that happens, it's not great but it isn't bad.

    Other films that did about 2.5 times the production budget at the box office?
    "Batsman Begins"
    "Star Trek (2009)"

    Both those films got sequels. They were not flops.
    If Japan's box office is about $20 million, there is still hope imo that "Covenant" will get a low budget sequel.

    ;)
  20. monkeylove
    Box office is not everything as well.  These movies have a long life with merchandising.  The original Alien is still making money.

    The catch is that the studio needs to pay for operating costs right away, cover any losses from other films, provide returns to investors right away, profit right away to expand its business and gain an advantage as it competes with other studios, and present something potentially lucrative in order to gain funding for future projects.
  21. kwisatz
    The one good thing is, with the budget going down Fassbender will play all characters in the next installment.

    Kinda like this?

    https://vhistory.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/the-rimmer-song.jpg

    I have not the slightest idea what that is and im not sure thats a bad thing.  :D


    http://i0.wp.com/www.eigaland.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/4b06ba0db572e664afddd8540266f9c0.jpeg?fit=600%2C600
  22. Scorpio
    Listing all the profit to cost ratio of the movies:

    Alien - budget 11 mil gross 104 mil - 9:1
    Aliens - budget 18 mil gross 131 mil - 7:1
    Alien3 - budget 50 mil gross 159 mil - 3:1
    Alien Resurrection - budget 75 mil gross 161 mil - 2.15:1
    AVP - budget 60 mil gross 172 mil - 2.87:1
    AVPR - budget 40 mil gross 128 - 3:1
    Prometheus - budget 130 gross 403 - 3:1
    Alien Covenant - budget 97 mil gross 231 - 2.4:1

    So at the moment it is sitting between Alien Resurrection and AVP.

    Again, the PRODUCTION budget is just a tiny fraction of the overall budget of a movie, which includes marketing costs, copies' costs, theater owners' percentages, etc... The domestic BO is where they get the most returns and AC is failing miserably in the US, well below the production budget, much less the OVERALL one...

    Box office is not everything as well.  These movies have a long life with merchandising.  The original Alien is still making money.
  23. YutaniDitch
    Listing all the profit to cost ratio of the movies:

    Alien - budget 11 mil gross 104 mil - 9:1
    Aliens - budget 18 mil gross 131 mil - 7:1
    Alien3 - budget 50 mil gross 159 mil - 3:1
    Alien Resurrection - budget 75 mil gross 161 mil - 2.15:1
    AVP - budget 60 mil gross 172 mil - 2.87:1
    AVPR - budget 40 mil gross 128 - 3:1
    Prometheus - budget 130 gross 403 - 3:1
    Alien Covenant - budget 97 mil gross 231 - 2.4:1

    So at the moment it is sitting between Alien Resurrection and AVP.

    Again, the PRODUCTION budget is just a tiny fraction of the overall budget of a movie, which includes marketing costs, copies' costs, theater owners' percentages, etc... The domestic BO is where they get the most returns and AC is failing miserably in the US, well below the production budget, much less the OVERALL one...
  24. Scorpio
    Listing all the profit to cost ratio of the movies:

    Alien - budget 11 mil gross 104 mil - 9:1
    Aliens - budget 18 mil gross 131 mil - 7:1
    Alien3 - budget 50 mil gross 159 mil - 3:1
    Alien Resurrection - budget 75 mil gross 161 mil - 2.15:1
    AVP - budget 60 mil gross 172 mil - 2.87:1
    AVPR - budget 40 mil gross 128 - 3:1
    Prometheus - budget 130 gross 403 - 3:1
    Alien Covenant - budget 97 mil gross 231 - 2.4:1

    So at the moment it is sitting between Alien Resurrection and AVP. 
  25. windebieste
    Japan will at least pull $20m at the box office.  At the very least.  'ALIEN' stuff is crazy popular in Japan.  After closing its world wide run, 'ALIEN Covenant will have taken in around $260m. 

    Not bad, for a prequel.  :P

    -Windebieste.
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