Alita: Battle Angel was the little cyborg that could. Prior to its release, the disdain for the project was palpable. Perhaps it was due to the look of Alita herself or just a lukewarm feeling from audiences had based on the trailers, but in spite of James Cameron’s attachment to the project, no one really expected the Robert Rodriguez-directed film to do much at the box office. In fact, many had expected it to flop hard in the vein of Mortal Engines.
Now, make no mistake, Alita: Battle Angel didn’t exactly impress at the box office, and there’s no doubt 20th Century Fox was hoping to see a better performance. But between its long tail in theaters and its generally-positive international performance, Alita: Battle Angel will likely end its theatrical run just shy of $405 million. Again, this isn’t great, but given how much many readers here thought it would be a huge trainwreck, this isn’t so bad.
But is this really saying much? Well, between all the different markets, Forbes is reporting that its box office may ultimately cover all of its $170 million budget (especially if you take tax incentives into account), and when it hits home release, it’ll likely also make back its marketing costs. What this means for Fox is either a “break even” or modest profit for them, which isn’t half-bad for a movie that seemed to have everything but James Cameron’s name stacked against it in terms of mainstream interest.
However, it is clear from the movie that they were hoping to start a franchise with this one. As of this writing, there is no indication that a sequel is in the works, but the outlet speculates (based on virtually no details) that a Disney+ series could emerge or a theatrical sequel created in the wake of the Avatar sequel that creates a much bigger scale and scope.
But that’s all big-time speculation stuff. For now, the more tangible piece of news here is that Alita: Battle Angel could ultimately be chocked up as a minor success.
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