Alita: Battle Angel exceeded earlier expectations and won the box office during its opening weekend. After lingering in development for a number of years, the long-awaited manga-adaptation finally premiered in theaters this past week. With a creative team spearheaded by producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez, the film earned generally positive reviews, as many praised the film's impressive visual effects and production design. Though some felt the story left a little to be desired, the consensus was Alita was worth checking out on the big screen.
Heading into opening day, it didn't seem like that word-of-mouth would help Alita's prospects at all. Initial projections had the film bombing with just $23 million over the first four days of its run. Analysts had Alita trailing both LEGO Movie 2 and Happy Death Day 2U on the charts, but things turned out a little better than anticipated for Fox.
Per Box Office Mojo, Alia led the pack this weekend with $27.8 million for the regular Friday-Sunday weekend frame. The movie actually debuted on Thursday, February 14, so its domestic total currently stands at $36.5 million. Rounding out the top five were The LEGO Movie 2 ($21.2 million), Isn't It Romantic ($14.2 million), What Men Want ($10.9 million), and Happy Death Day 2U ($9.8 million).
As great as it is to say Alita beat the projections, this still isn't an overly flattering picture. For a big-budget tentpole, $36.5 million in four days isn't anything to write home about, and the film has a long way to go before turning a profit. Production costs may have run as high as $200 million, meaning Alita would have to earn approximately $400 million worldwide just to break even. As of this writing, its global haul is $72.1 million and it's actually made slightly more in America than internationally. It's worth mentioning Alita still has a Chinese premiere on the horizon, so these numbers could substantially increase depending on what happens. China is the world's second-largest film market and has a history of giving floundering genre pictures a shot in the arm.
Still, it won't be easy for Alita to end up in the black. Its weekend victory is more a byproduct of facing weak competition than audiences having widespread interest in the beginning of an Alita film franchise. Because of that, it's unlikely Alita has strong legs. There isn't a new live-action tentpole until Captain Marvel on March 8, but next weekend sees the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which has scored strong reviews and should be a sizable draw. Especially with the Disney-Fox purchase close to being completed, this could be the end of the line for Alita on the big screen.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Alita Battle Angel (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019