'Alien: Covenant' will pass 'Guardians' — but not by much — to lead the box office this weekend

“Alien: Covenant,” the latest entry in the long-running sci-fi franchise, took in $15.3 million Friday, putting it on track for an opening weekend in the neighborhood of $40 million.

That total will put the Ridley Scott horror film on top the box office charts, passing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” The Disney/Marvel superhero film, which has been No. 1 for the last two weeks, added about $9 million to its total Friday, putting it on pace for a weekend take of $33 million to $35 million. The sequel should pass the $300-million milestone by Sunday, bringing it within striking distance of its 2014 predecessor’s domestic total of $333 million.

“Alien: Covenant,” meanwhile, looks to be performing a bit behind the last entry in the series, 2012’s “Prometheus,” which opened to $51 million. Critics were mixed on the new movie, which, per Scott, cost $111 million, and opening night audiences apparently felt much the same way. “Alien: Covenant” scored a B grade, according to the market research firm Cinemascore.

As for the other new openers, the YA romantic drama “Everything, Everything” should wind up in the No. 3 spot for the weekend, taking in $4.7 million Friday with an estimated $12-million weekend take. The modestly budgeted movie satisfied its targeted audience of young women, rating an A grade with Cinemascore.

Less fortunate was “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.” The reboot of the movie series based on Jeff Kinney’s popular children’s books grossed about $2 million Friday, putting it on track for a $7 million weekend, below earlier estimates.

The movie’s recasting angered fans, particularly in the case of the title character’s older brother, with Charlie Wright subbing for Devon Bostick prompting the hashtag #NotMyRodrick to trend on social media. (Bostick responded to the controversy with a passing-the-torch video a few weeks back.) The movie’s middling Cinemascore grade doesn’t offer much hope for a rebound.

glenn.whipp@latimes.com

Twitter: @glennwhipp

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