While it’s over a month away, the latest box office projections for Alita: Battle Angel directed by Robert Rodriguez if similar to the actual outcome could spell a huge box office fumble for 20th Century Fox.
According to long-range projections from BoxOffice, the manga adaptation is looking a very slim $14.5 million domestic opening come mid-February and that is not a number that studio will be happy with. Fox had originally planned on releasing the film produced and co-written by James Cameron on December 21st among many other fierce competitors like Aquaman. It doesn’t look like the move to February will have avoided a weak opening if it truly does open to $14.5 million, as it would suggest a decreased take from each following weekend.
As it stands, it looks like Happy Death Day 2U is projected to trounce Alita with a possible opening around $24 million. Almost a full $10 million more.
Normally, I would be terribly concerning with projections this early out but considering how much the movie cost it might become a massive issue for 20th Century Fox. Alita: Battle Angel has an estimated budget between $150-200 million (possibly even more) and opening that low could mean the film is in serious trouble if it doesn’t perform extremely well overseas. Meaning, it might end up another write-off like last year’s Mortal Engines. Another visual effects heavy feature film using the name of the film’s producer to sell it, this time with the case of Alita, James Cameron.
These are by no means a sure bet as they’re simply just predictions at the moment and we won’t know until reviews start coming out along with the Friday numbers what the damages could ultimately be if any. Happy Death Day 2U very well could end up with the win and possibly taking down Alita with it.
Alita won’t have the benefit of holiday release month like December releases that have opened lower than expected but could end up pulling away with a profit. Basically, the film would need a significant boost from overseas box office to not end up losing money.
Many things could have been an issue with the film’s awareness, people being turned off to the idea of manga/anime adaptations after Ghost In The Shell, the IP itself not having a huge impact in the west or even simply the marketing/trailers haven’t exactly engaged audiences thus far. I noticed an appalling low viewership for a recent YouTube Q&A for the film, that could have been a big red flag.
My own personal issue was the unnecessary removal Rosa Salazar’s face to replace with a completely CGI character, a move that certainly cost the studio a large chunk of their hefty production budget along with watering-down the graphically violent nature of the source material hoping to put a PG-13 YA spin for marketing/box office purposes.
Alita: Battle Angel is set for release on February 14th, 2019.
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
SOURCE: BOX OFFICE