While all the talk and focus is on Captain Marvel this coming weekend, Carol Danvers is not the only cinematic heroine that can be seen in theaters. The Battle Angel herself, Alita, has been quietly entertaining audiences for a few weeks now. The Robert Rodriguez-directed, James Cameron-written and produced manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel has now passed a significant milestone at the box office.
Alita: Battle Angel has topped $350 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. A total of $350.5 million and counting is a nice chunk of change that puts Alita: Battle Angel comfortably in the #3 spot at the worldwide box office in 2019, trailing only How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World at $378.6 million and the Chinese juggernaut The Wandering Earth, which has made $676.7 million in the Middle Kingdom alone.
Alita: Battle Angel was predicted to be DOA domestically, but wound up performing better than expected in its opening weekend. It earned $33.5 million over the long President’s Day weekend and it has been plugging away ever since. In its third weekend, Alita came in third at the box office, adding another $7.2 million to bring its domestic total to $72.4 million.
While that domestic haul is nothing to write home about, this special effects driven film was always a play at the international box office, and that’s what has really pushed it over the $350 million mark. Alita: Battle Angel has performed far better in foreign markets, with $278 million of its $350 million coming overseas. A large chunk of that has come from the ever-important China, where Alita has made $113.2 million.
Although every box office milestone achieved is a step in the right direction, $350 million is not enough to call Alita a success or guarantee a sequel, at least not yet. Alita: Battle Angel’s reported budget is $170 million, and when you factor in the marketing costs, it has been suggested that the film would need to hit $500 million to be profitable.
The Battle Angel is more than halfway there, but it will really have to leg it out for that last $150 million to get into that $450-$500 million mark where it can minimize financial losses. That may not be especially realistic given its weekend-to-weekend drops, but the film definitely could have bombed harder. While it obviously won’t be considered a true hit given its budget, Alita may wind up in a murky territory where the losses aren’t as bad as they could have been ,but there isn’t a clear financial mandate for the franchise to continue.
Alita: Battle Angel may find new life and eventually break even down the line on home video, but if it fails to spawn a sequel, the blame will fall primarily on the domestic market as it has done relatively well everywhere else.
That’s a bummer because although the film has been heavily mixed in terms of critical response, the audiences that have taken a chance on the largely unfamiliar property have really liked it. Alita has an “A-“ CinemaScore and positive ratings and audience scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, for what they’re worth.
Alita: Battle Angel is still playing. You should check it out and then check out our 2019 release schedule to see all the biggest movies headed your way this year.