Alita: Battle Angel may have topped the box office when it debuted in theaters over a week ago, but it certainly wasn’t a box office haul to brag about. However, the film’s performance in international markets, especially China, has the 20th Century Fox release looking a little more favorable. But the question is will it be enough for the movie to break even and turn a profit for the studio?
Forbes has the official numbers from the Chinese box office with Alita: Battle Angel earning $64.8 million in its opening weekend. That brings the international total to $202.7 million so far. Combine that with the domestic total of $60.6 million so far, and we’re looking at just over $263 million worldwide. With so much success internationally, there’s renewed hope that Alita: Battle Angel can become a successful enough film for Fox to actually earn the studio money and maybe justify a sequel. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If Alita: Battle Angel performs along the lines of films like Ready Player One, Terminator Genisys and The Maze Runner (all of which had similarly sized openings in China, as well as the rest of the world), then Forbes says it has a chance of ending up with a global total of $450 million. That wouldn’t be bad if 20th Century Fox’s estimate of needing between $350 million and $400 million to break even is accurate, but other sources (via Deadline) say the movie might need $500 million or more for the movie to turn a profit.
However, the problem with the film’s impressive performance in China is that Fox will only see around 25% of those ticket sales come back to them. So China might seem like a saving grace for Alita: Battle Angel, but a lot of things would have to go right for the film’s box office performance in order to make money for Fox. And China isn’t prone to giving American movies a lot of time in their theaters. Plus, with Captain Marvel lurking around the corner and soon taking more screens away from Alita: Battle Angel, it’s not likely to rake in enough money to warrant any sequels to be made.
This is disappointing mostly because Alita: Battle Angel is much better than the marketing led us to believe. The ending also leaves it wide open for the story to continue, complete with a cameo reveal that is meant to lead to something bigger.
So don’t hold your breath for director Robert Rodriguez and producers James Cameron and Jon Landau to visit the world of Alita: Battle Angel again, but it’s not necessarily impossible.
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