Each film in the Alien cycle has carried a name that reflects the number of aliens involved, hence in Alien there is just one and in Aliens far too many to count.
The third film represents a problem, since there is only one creature, but the film is the third in the sequence. Employing the superscripted 3 allows the makers to indicate that this is the third film, while reinforcing the idea of there being a singular alien, since one cubed is . . . one.
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