At present, box office prognostications for Alita: Battle Angel don’t look fantastic. Early estimates have suggested it won’t do big business in its opening weekend, and while its Rotten Tomatoes score has been rising since the embargo first lifted, it’s still getting a mostly middling response. We won’t fully know how things will turn out until Sunday morning, but at the very least the film is padding its numbers with a fast start internationally.
While Alita: Battle Angel isn’t out in American theaters yet, is has been given an early release over in Asia, where it has already made $32 million – according to Box Office Mojo. Fox hoped that it would get a boost in the region thanks to A) the origins of the source material, and B) the recent Chinese New Year holiday, and while the movie won’t actually be out in China until later this month, it’s already picked up a nice chunk of change. The movie is now out in 11 markets in Asia, and it’s been particularly successful in Korea.
It’s been suggested that Alita: Battle Angel might end up making less than $25 million during its five-day Valentine’s Day weekend release domestically, and that would certainly be a disappointment for the feature. Not only has it been in the works for nearly 20 years, but it’s been finished with principal photography since early 2017. It’s been estimated that the budget is somewhere in the $150-200 million range, and a soft opening in America would be a serious blemish. Fortunately, an impressive overseas showing may prevent it from being regarded in hindsight as a flop.
It’s true that $32 million might not seem like much in the grand scheme, but it’s possible that Alita: Battle Angel will wind up making some seriously big numbers in foreign markets. James Cameron, who wrote and produced the film, has a huge following in China, with both Avatar ($204.1 million) and Titanic ($43.9 million) being massive successes during their theatrical releases, and there is a history of splashy action movies doing better abroad than at home. This could easily be one of those cases.
Based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series, Gunnm, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel is set in the year 2563 in a post-apocalyptic society – specifically a metropolis called Iron City. The story begins as a scientist named Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers the body of a cyborg in a junk heap while searching for scraps for his work. Ido is successfully able to bring her back to life, naming her Alita (Rosa Salazar), and she not only begins to adjust to her new life, but slowly starts to remember who she was before her resurrection.
We’ll be following the box office performance of Alita: Battle Angel very closely here on CinemaBlend, so stay tuned for the latest updates. And you’ll be able to see the film, co-starring Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Keean Johnson, when it hits big screens everywhere in the United States on Thursday, February 14th.