LOS ANGELES — “Alien: Covenant” edged out “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” in a weekend space battle at the box office.

Ridley Scott’s latest “Alien” exploit opened with $36 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Guardians” was close behind with just over $35 million in its third week of release.

“You couldn’t get two outer-space operas that are more different in terms of point-of-view and execution,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for ComScore.

Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” is a dark, R-rated scare-fest about slimy, parasitic space monsters.

Disney’s “Guardians” is a sweet, family-centered romp across the cosmos.

“‘Alien’ is sort of the dark side,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s the R-rated yin to ‘Guardians’ PG-13-rated, fun yang.”

Two other new releases landed in the top five. Warner Bros.’ teen romance “Everything, Everything” debuted in third place with $12 million, and Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” opened in fifth with $7.2 million.

“Snatched,” Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s R-rated comedy from Fox, fell to fourth place in its second week of release with $7.6 million.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” provided a solid launch to the summer movie season with more than $300 million in domestic ticket sales so far, Dergarabedian said, though overall grosses are running about 10 percent behind last summer’s totals.

– From news service reports