Forbes has revealed that Alita: Battle Angel is at the end of it’s run and has barely crossed $400 million globally suggesting sequels getting made at this point might not be happening. Sequels are unlikely since it’s about $100-150 million shy to the previous estimates made by Deadline via sources of where it needed to hit to turn a profit for 20th Century Fox. This would suggest that the movie may have indeed flopped despite a strong overseas performance.
Fox contends breakeven is between $350M-$400M, while other finance film sources with knowledge of the budget say it’s significantly more, like in the half-billion-plus range.
The film will have earned a poultry $84 million domestically which is really the number that Hollywood studios look at when determining if there is value in making future installments.
The film’s massive $200 million budget was reportedly widdled down to $170 million thanks to New Zealand tax incentives, but that still doesn’t seem to have made a big enough impact to see the film end up landing in the profit zone from box office alone making it harder for 20th Century Fox or new owners Disney to see a huge value in the property given those less than stellar domestic returns.
Disney hasn’t really had a big track record of continuing movies that didn’t turn a profit.
I think there is a slight naivete thinking because James Cameron is involved with Alita: Battle Angel that Fox/Disney will take a loss and just keep pumping hundreds of millions more into the franchise that domestic audiences seemingly ignored without any consequences with investors or shareholders.
There are also people who genuinely assume because a movie makes a fair amount of money overseas it off-balances the low domestic cume and has driven studios to greenlight many sequels based on this assumption, that simply isn’t really the case. The more recent example would be Duncan Jones’ Warcraft which was a bigger domestic disappointment for Legendary and ended up earning a good amount of money from the Chinese box office but still, that didn’t seem to be a big enough box office push to get the studio (now owned by Chinese company The Wanda Group) to seek further installments.
As someone who actually enjoyed the world building and wants to see sequels, it’s disappointing that Alita: Battle Angel likely didn’t hit the box office targets it needed to reach to deserve those sequels it spent most of the final act setting up.
SOURCE: FORBES & DEADLINE