Since Alita: Battle Angel hit theaters earlier this year, fans have been hoping for a sequel. The Robert Rodriguez-directed, James Cameron-produced sci-fi action film has a passionate and devoted fanbase, all desperately hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Rosa Salazar’s Battle Angel on the big screen. Now, nearly eight months since its release, Alita: Battle Angel fans are still petitioning for a sequel.
Over on Change.org, a petition championing an Alita: Battle Angel Part 2 is still racking up signatures long after the film has exited theaters. As of now, the petition has over 64,000 signatures, on its way to a goal of 75,000. The petition started by Phillip Grube was created when Alita was in its second weekend in theaters with the express goal of demonstrating to the powers that be like James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez that there was enough fan interest and desire to make a sequel film.
Petitions like these don’t do much as far as affecting change in a direct way, but what they can do is symbolize public interest in a particular cause. This is a way for Alita fans to demonstrate that they want to see Alita 2, with the idea being that the people and corporate entities with the power to greenlight the sequel see this petition and get the message that another movie is a viable proposition.
The fact that this petition is still getting new signatures shows that the desire for an Alita sequel has not subsided. Even at the early stage of this petition’s creation, a sequel wasn’t a foregone conclusion and in the petition’s description, the author noted that Alita: Battle Angel was looking like it might break even. And ultimately the box office may be the biggest impediment to an Alita sequel.
Alita: Battle Angel had a budget of $170 million. It performed better than expected, in some ways, like its domestic opening weekend, but it ultimately topped out at $85.7 million domestic and $404.8 worldwide. Although there isn’t a definitive number, the belief was that Alita needed $500 million or more at the box office to break even, which it didn’t reach. It wasn’t an outright failure, though, and that’s why fans are holding out hope that a sequel can still happen.
The film didn’t hit home video until July and the #AlitaArmy is still hoping that strong Blu-ray sales can be incentivize the studio to give Alita another go. That studio would seemingly be Disney, as Alita: Battle Angel was a 20th Century Fox film and that studio is now under the umbrella of the Walt Disney Company.
Because of that merger, and all that is still being sorted out on that front (Fox projects like Mouse Guard have already been canned), Rosa Salazar isn’t surprised that Alita 2 hasn’t been greenlighted yet. One of the hopes has been that if the Avatar sequels are huge hits for Disney, the Mouse House will throw James Cameron a bone and allow Alita, which was a passion project for Cameron, to move forward.
There are a lot of good reasons that Alita: Battle Angel deserves a sequel. So it would be a shame for a bubble film like this that did well, but perhaps not well enough, to not get a chance to grow its audience after people discover it on TV and home video. I imagine that with Alita now established on the big screen and a dedicated fanbase, a sequel could find genuine worldwide success next time around, perhaps with a better release date.
Even if Disney isn’t interested, maybe James Cameron could take Alita 2 elsewhere. For now Alita fans will just have to hope that no news is good news.