According to BoxOfficeMojo, Alita: Battle Angel is estimated to have earned a little over $28 million for its opening 3-day weekend (up from its low-end projections of $14-18 million) and Deadline projects an estimated $43 million for over the five days of release.
Deadline also pointing out this was the weakest President’s Day weekend box office since 2001.
There is certainly buzz from audiences that have seen movie alongside some less than favorable reviews, having legs domestically might be a bit of a problem with How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World coming out this week (last film earned $49 million opening weekend and is projected to earn $48 million) and Captain Marvel approaching (estimated for a $100-160 million opening) as well that could pull away domestic dollars.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part earned $21 million and could pull some domestic dollars away from Alita over the next couple of weekends as it did this past weekend.
Alita could very well surprise everyone domestically but with the incoming high-profile releases and a soft opening for a movie of its scale and budget (between $170-200 million), it has a challenge on its hands. A 40-50% drop-off is also normal for a movie in their second weekend and the last thing Alita would likely want to see is a second-weekend take of around $12-14 million domestically. Staying roughly in the range of $20 million is what I assume they’d want to happen this weekend.
Overseas the film is fairing much better.
However, with recent examples like Legendary’s Warcraft movie that movie opened to $24 million domestically and earned an impressive $386 million overall foreign take (a bulk coming from China), it still wasn’t wasn’t enough to get sequels greenlit even though that film’s budget was considerably less than Alita. Legendary Entertainment is also now a Chinese-owned company as they were purchased by the Wanda Group in 2016, so they certainly would understand the demand from the Chinese audiences.
You can’t exactly bank on those Alita sequels getting the go-ahead unless the movie does more than just break even and foreign box office dollars such as in China isn’t split between the studio and exhibitors at the same percentage as it is in North America (it also varies between regions/countries). Hollywood studios do tend to look primarily at domestic grosses when it comes time to purse sequels.
There’s nothing wrong with rooting for the sequels but until the dust settles on the global total it’s anyone’s guess how the movie will actually do in the end and it’s only been a couple of days.
SOURCE: BOX OFFICE MOJO & DEADLINE