How do you solve a problem like Alita? The big-budget, bigger-eyed blockbuster directed by Robert Rodriguez debuted to the tune of $8.7 million on Valentine’s Day, then tacked on another $7.5 million on Friday night. This puts the film, produced and co-written by James Cameron, on-track ahead of predictions for a six-day President’s Day weekend debut in the $36-38 million range. So, you know, okay news! But, Alita reportedly cost at least $200 million to produce before marketing at 20th Century Fox. The movie is going to have to put in some serious work both here in the states and worldwide to nab that sequel it works so hard to set up.
Alita: Battle Angel, based on the manga Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro, stars Rosa Salazar in the title role, putting in an impressive mo-cap performance. The film’s reviews are so-so—I liked it!—but it has garnered an A- Cinemascore. So far, Alita—which benefits from being an optimal 3D IMAX experience, which means higher-priced tickets—has nabbed another $35 million overseas.
Meanwhile, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part connected with another $4.4 million on Friday night, beating both newcomers Isn’t It Romantic ($4.2 million) and the horror sequel Happy Deathday 2U, which came in fifth with $2.8 million. What Men Want, starring Taraji P. Henson, came in fourth in its second Friday night with $2.9 million.
Overall, this President’s Day weekend is heading toward a 60% decrease from last year’s six-day haul, but that’s mostly Marvel’s fault. In 2018, Black Panther debuted in February to a whopping $262 million on its way to shattering several box office records.
Take a look at Friday’s numbers below and check back tomorrow for full weekend estimates. (Numbers via Box Office Mojo)
|1.||Alita: Battle Angel||$7,530,000||$16,246,232|
|2.||The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part||$4,450,000||$45,925,359|
|3.||Isn’t It Romantic||$4,180,000||$10,425,347|
|4.||What Men Want||$2,930,000||$28,160,328|
|5.||Happy Death Day 2U||$2,845,000||$6,556,500|