With an underwhelming $74 million take at the domestic box office, Alien: Covenant is officially an even bigger failure than its critically bashed predecessor, Prometheus. Ridley Scott’s third outing in the Alien franchise tried to go back to basics by making Covenant a straight to the point isolated horror film. However, much like another director that we know and love (cough Snyder cough) the 80 year old legend could not help, but throw in theological concepts that seem convoluted at times. Fans and critics alike were split as it currently stands with a RT audience score of 56% and at 68% on the tomatometer. So whether it be that audiences were turned off so much by Prometheus that they didn’t give Covenant a try, bad word of mouth from those who had seen Covenant, or Michael Fassbender’s bad luck (what mirror did you break, dude?), it is being reported that the sequel has been canned at Fox.
This shouldn’t be surprising for two reasons;
- This may not be in Disney’s long term plans if, but mostly likely when, the merger goes through.
- This film franchise is NOT viable financially.
It is a true testament to how well respected Sir Ridley Scott is at 20th Century Fox, because had Prometheus been female led, or directed by anyone else, Alien: Covenant wouldn’t have even existed. You could argue about Charlize, Noomi, and Katherine’s presence, but it’s clearly Fassbender who is the current face of this franchise.
Perhaps there’s another thing to consider……alien films are a thing of the past. Starting from 1979’s Alien, Hollywood began to crank out a slew of extra terrestrial based films such as The Thing, E.T, Predator, The Abyss, Aliens, Mars Attacks, Independence Day, Men in Black 1,2,3, Signs, War of the Worlds, and began to slow down with District 9, and Super 8. All of the films mentioned will go down on someone’s “best of” list, memorable in their own way. They also try not to explain the “where they came from” aspect of it so much as Ridley is currently trying to do with the Aliens franchise. However, just like the vampire craze died down after Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, Sir Scott may just have to put down his notebook of ideas for now and come back when that genre is truly ready for a resurrection. He doesn’t seem to have a grasp with the older generation any longer where his original audience are most likely in the 40-60s range, and he is not capturing the younger audience who are currently enamored by anything the House of Mouse craps out.
So while Sir Ridley Scott is not slowing down anytime soon and will be enjoying more moderate successes such as All the Money in the World perhaps he should settle on continuing his ideas for Alien in novelizations.