Alien Day is an annual promotional event dedicated to the Alien franchise, held on April 26. It is officially organised and promoted by 20th Century Fox. The date is a reference to the moon on which Aliens is set — April 26, 4/26, LV-426.
The event typically involves a multitude of special releases, including novels, comic books, video games, clothing and collectables. As well as physical releases, the day is marked by exclusive announcements, trivia competitions and the return of the classic films in the Alien franchise to theaters around the world. Fox ran the first Alien Day in 2016, additionally marking the 30th anniversary of the release of Aliens, while a second event ran in 2017.
The annual 20th Century Fox event was in fact preceded by a one-off "Aliens Day" event organised by Dark Horse Comics in 2009, celebrating the relaunch of its Aliens comics line after a ten-year hiatus. This original event was held on May 25, 2009, exactly 30 years to the day since the original theatrical release of Alien in 1979. As part of the event, Dark Horse released a special variant of Free Comic Book Day: Aliens/Predator, featuring alternate Aliens cover artwork by Chris Warner. The company also published a special double-sided flip poster featuring the cover artwork from the first issues of the 2009 limited series Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens, by Zach Howard and Brad Anderson (Aliens) and Raymond Swanland (Predator).
Following this one-off marketing promotion, the current incarnation of the event, officially titled Alien Day and now orchestrated by Fox, was first held on April 26, 2016. Similarly to Dark Horse's 2009 event, the year marked the 30th anniversary of the release of an Alien movie to theaters — in this case, Alien's sequel, Aliens. As part of the event, Fox teamed up with a number of licensing partners to produce a multitude of special releases, "showcasing everything from unique apparel to exclusive comic books to high-end collectables". In response to the official announcement of the 2016 event, Jeffrey Godsick, President of 20th Century Fox Consumer Products, stated: "The Alien franchise holds a special place not only within the universe of Fox but with movie enthusiasts across the galaxy."
Alien Day 2016
The first Alien Day ran on April 26, 2016.
Special releases for Alien Day 2016 included:
- Alien: Out of the Shadows audio drama: Audible released an audio drama version of the novel Alien: Out of the Shadows, starring Matthew Lewis, Laurel Lefkow, Corey Johnson and Rutger Hauer in his first audio role.
- Alien digital pinball: Zen Studios launched an Aliens vs. Pinball video game via iTunes, Google Play, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam.
- Alien: Invasion: Titan Books published Alien: Invasion, the second novel in the Rage War trilogy.
- Alien: The Weyland Yutani Report: Insight Editions published the hardback standard edition of Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report.
- Audiobooks: As well as the physical print edition of Alien: Invasion, Audible also published an unabridged audiobook version of the novel, as well as its predecessor Predator: Incursion, both read by John Chancer.
- Aliens 30th Anniversary comic: Dark Horse Comics published Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series, a special hardcover, "oversized" (8 × 12) edition of Aliens: Book One featuring the original, unedited story in its original black and white format.
- Alien derelict: Hollywood Collectibles released an Alien Derelict Spaceship Statue of the derelict seen in Alien.
- Aliens Loot Crate: Loot Crate released a limited edition Aliens 30th Anniversary Crate packed with exclusive goodies.
- Reebok Alien Stomper sneakers: Reebok released the Reebok Alien Stomper, an exact replica of the High-Top Stompers worn by Ripley in Aliens, as well as a mid-top sneakers worn by Bishop. Both were limited editions.
- Aliens T-shirt: Fright-Rags released an exclusive Aliens T-shirt limited to just 426 units.
- NECA figure: NECA released a Kenner-themed Ripley figure, exclusive to Toys "R" Us stores.
- Super 7 Alien figures: Super 7 released a Nostromo 3-pack figure set containing figures of Kane, Lambert and Dallas in Nostromo space suits, an exclusive Alien vinyl carry case for ReAction figures, packaged with an exclusive glow-in-the-dark Alien figure, as well as an Alien Queen Molten Silver Gray vinyl figure.
- Mondo merchandise: Mondo unveiled a wealth of exclusive merchandise, including art prints, T-shirts, knitwear, patches, pins and a liquid-filled vinyl edition of the Aliens soundtrack.
- Dark Bunny T-shirts: Dark Bunny Tees offered a range of Alien-themed T-shirts, including a replica of Pvt. Frost's "PEACE THROUGH SUPERIOR FIREPOWER" T-shirt, along with an exclusive Bug Stomper satchel bag.
- Aliens miniatures: Diamond Select Toys released a range of Aliens miniature figures.
- Alien & Aliens return to theaters: Alamo Drafthouse produced a screening program on April 26 that saw both Alien and Aliens return to theaters across America, including as special double-feature screenings at select venues. At Alamo locations, each pre-ordered ticket included a Mondo-designed Alien T-shirt, released exclusively for the event screenings. Screenings were additionally accompanied by exclusive Alien merchandise — including apparel, accessories, posters and records — from pop-culture company Mondo. Vue Cinemas and Cineworld ran similar programs in the UK, showing double bills of the Alien Director's Cut and the Aliens Special Edition at select venues. The Astor Theatre in Melbourne, Australia also showed an Alien/Aliens double bill.
- Alien: Ultimate Trivia Challenge: Fox ran a 24-hour trivia contest via Twitter that saw trivia questions asked every 42.6 minutes. Each trivia question (35 in a 24-hour cycle) offered fans the chance to win various prize packages from 20th Century Fox's Alien franchise licensing partners. To qualify to win the corresponding prize, participants had to "Reply" to the initial "question tweet", correctly answer the question, and use the #AlienDay426 and #Contest hashtags. A winner (or "winners" when multiple prizes are offered) were then be selected for each of the questions.
Alien Day 2017
Following the 2016 event, Fox ran Alien Day again on April 26, 2017.
Special releases for Alien Day 2017 included:
- Alien: River of Pain audio drama: Much like the Alien: Out of the Shadows audio drama released the previous year, Audible released an audio drama version of the novel Alien: River of Pain, starring Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon and Alexander Siddig.
- Life and Death finale: Dark Horse Comics released Prometheus: Life and Death - Final Conflict, the one-shot conclusion to the Life and Death comic crossover event.
- Aliens: Dead Orbit: Dark Horse also published the first issue of new series Aliens: Dead Orbit.
- Alien: Covenant VR: FoxNext VR Studio released Alien: Covenant in Utero, an Oculus-based virtual reality journey chronicling the birth of a Neomorph.
- Alien T-shirt: Fright-Rags once again released an exclusive Alien T-shirt, available for 24 hours only.
- NECA figure: NECA released a Kenner-themed Vasquez figure, exclusive to their online store.
- Mondo merchandise: Mondo once again produced several exclusive items, including a set of Alien art cards, only available from Walmart with the purchase of Alien DVDs and Blu-rays, and a 4xLP set of Jerry Goldsmith's Alien soundtrack, as well as T-shirts and enamel pins.
- Empire Covenant special: Empire Magazine will release a special, limited edition "virtual reality" Alien: Covenant issue.
- Alien: Escape announcement: Madame Tussauds released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming Alien: Escape attraction.
- Alien: Covenant Q & A: A question and answer session with the cast of Alien: Covenant was live-streamed on the day from Fox Studios in Los Angeles.
- Alien in theaters: Much like the previous year, Alien returned to theaters around the world for one night only. In America, the RPX Regal Cinema chain screened Alien, while in the UK, Vue Cinemas, ODEON and Cineworld ran an Alien Day programme, screening the Alien Director's Cut in a double bill with Prometheus. Showings additionally included a 10-minute preview of Alien: Covenant, and attendees also received exclusive commemorative items. Attendees of showings in the UK additionally received a ticket to advance screenings of Alien: Covenant one day before the film's general release.
- Immersive Alien Day celebration: 20th Century Fox ran an immersive experience in London, where fans were able to view and even wear props and costumes from Alien: Covenant, engage in an online chat session with the film's cast, listen to the film's score and feed on Alien-themed food and drinks. The event was followed by a screening of Prometheus.
- MU/TH/UR of all Trivia Challenges: Fox again ran a 24-hour trivia contest via the Alien Universe website, with trivia questions asked every 4 hours 26 minutes. Each trivia question offered fans the chance to win various prize packages.
- The official Fox iteration of Alien Day, taking place on April 26, has its origins in a fan event based in New York City. The first unofficial "Aliens Day" was organised by Aliens fan Alaric Hahn of Brooklyn, New York for April 26, 2015. In February the following year, a promotional image for Hahn's 2016 event was shared by NECA toys on Twitter to much popularity, possibly indicating the fan event was the impetus for 20th Century Fox to adopt the day officially.
- Alien Day 2017 fell on a Wednesday, the day on which new comic book issues are traditionally released.