The James Cameron-produced and Robert Rodriguez-directed “Alita: Battle Angel” topped the North American box-office this weekend but no-one is celebrating. The overall holiday weekend domestic haul of $151 million looks to be the lowest grossing President’s Day weekend in almost twenty years.
“Alita” won with $27 million for the three-day and $33 million for the four-day, and it’s coming in slightly ahead of expectations. However, the film cost a whopping $170 million to produce with estimates being that it has to make at least $500-600 million worldwide before it starts making profit.
Global returns should help a bit, the film launched this weekend to $56.2 million from 86 markets – and China and Japan are yet to come. “Alita” however faces competition in China from sci-fi juggernaut “The Wandering Earth” which has now made $560 million to date and is the second biggest local film ever in the Middle Kingdom.
“The LEGO Movie” sequel came in second States-side with a further $21.2 million for the three-day, though the release next weekend of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is expected to eat into its long-term outlook. Rom-com “Isn’t It Romantic” came in third with $14.2 million earned from its first four days of release, while “What Men Want” was fourth with $10.8 million.
The other big news was “Happy Death Day 2U” which decidedly underwhelmed. That sequel came in fifth with $9.8 million over the three day – around half of what tracking services estimated heading into the weekend and a steep drop from the $26 million opening of its predecessor.