Ridley Scott's return to his chest-bursting roots looks set to be a successful one as Alien: Covenant is on course to replace Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 at the top of the US box office.
The Prometheus follow-up kicked off its domestic run with estimated takings of $38-$40.2 million, having raked in $4.2 million from Thursday night preview showings and a further $15.35 million on Friday.
Covenant has already proven an international smash, bagging $47 million from 34 foreign markets starting last weekend for a worldwide total of $62 million, according to Box Office Mojo's figures.
Space is clearly popular this season as James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is set to claim second spot on the US box office chart with takings of $33-35 million for a domestic total of $300 million.
Topping the pile last week, Starlord and co's second outing is fast approaching $700 million worldwide.
Also of note is the continuing struggles of Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which plummeted from third to sixth to double underline its status as an expensive box office turkey.
Covenant's impressive performance is good news for Alien fans, given that it makes the possibility of another sequel a realistic prospect - maybe this one will clear up some of the 1,235 unanswered questions we've had since Prometheus.