News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS ) Twentieth Century Fox film unit may be laughing all the way to the bank, seeing how the No. 1 film last weekend was none other than... Alien vs. Predator. Apparently a plethora of diehard horror and sci-fi fans, video game nuts, and 14-year-old boys gathered en masse to see the spectacle.
I happen to be a diehard horror and sci-fi fan. Yes, I saw Freddy vs. Jason, and on the wide screen to boot. I have seen the original Alien more times than I'd like to admit, and I have seen all ensuing sequels at least once, including Alien: Resurrection (which made hardly a lick of sense as it not only revived the dead Ellen Ripley character but threw Winona Ryder into the mix as an artificial life form with an artificial heart of gold).
However, when I first saw the ads for Alien vs. Predator, my first reaction was an inward groan. (The video game and comic book ties gave it just a little bit more justification. Not much, but some.)
It's obvious that last summer's Freddy vs. Jason, a product of Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX ) New Line Cinema, started this cinematic "versus" trend, 21st century style. What next? Chucky vs. Leprechaun? Pumpkinhead vs. Warlock? That freaky little girl in The Ring vs. the Blair Witch? Maybe they're all likely candidates for showdowns if we're embarking on a new golden age of the B movie.
Now, let's get back to our weekend monsters. Alien vs. Predator raked in $38.25 million in sales over the weekend. It cost only a little more than $60 million to make, according to an article by TheWall Street Journal.
Though it knocked Collateral out of first place, the last few weeks of this summer's box office have been a string of fast-falling hits, with strong opening weekends that drifted off. Consider Disney's (NYSE: DIS ) high hope, The Village; theatergoers rushed to see it on opening weekend before someone gave M. Night Shyamalan's secrets away. (Speaking of, I'm betting Sigourney Weaver's pretty happy that she was all the way over in The Village instead of dealing with Alien again.)
The WSJ reported that someone at News Corp. already sees potential for an Alien vs. Predator sequel. I know sequels are big business (despite the fact that a good three-quarters of the time, they shouldn't be)... but oh, please. Besides, I will be surprised if there isn't a pretty major drop-off in box office take for this flick. (I do happen to know someone who saw Alien vs. Predator. Review? "It was short.") Maybe a more appropriate plan of action for News Corp. is to simply take the money and run... laughing the whole way.
Cinematic Fools are talking about Alien vs. Predator on the Great Movies discussion board, only on Fool.com.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Despite all her complaining in this piece, she will probably eventually see Alien vs. Predator, though she already knows who "wins."