Alita Battle Angel Box Office

“Alita: Battle Angel” Keeps Its Giant Eyes on the Prize


February 15-17, 2019

(estimates from


Alita: Battle Angel  $27.8 million
The LEGO Movie 2  $21.2 million
Isn't It Romantic $14.2 million
What Men Want $10.9 million
Happy Death Day 2U  $9.1 million

The good news for Fox is that Alita: Battle Angel probably did much better this weekend than it would have had it kept its original Christmas week release date. The bad news? This cost an estimated $170 million, meaning it will have to do extremely well overseas to make up the difference. It's off to a decent start, raking in around $94 million outside North America, but this is still likely to be one of the year's biggest flops. Robert Rodriguez is still stuck in his rut.

The LEGO Movie 2 dropped nearly 38 percent. That's a solid hold, but it still hasn't made in two weeks what the original made in its first weekend. (That's a trait it shares with a movie we'll get to in a moment.) It will eventually be the third film of 2019 to cross $100 million, but it's not as big a deal when there's been so few breakout successes. Isn't It Romantic opened in third place, taking in $20 million since opening Wednesday.

What Men Want dropped to fourth place, but lost only 40 percent of its debut weekend gross. It's almost doubled its budget already. But the big surprise to me this weekend was Happy Death Day 2U. The original was the top film the weekend it debuted, with an impressive $26 million. The sequel had solid reviews, on par with the original. But even the usually consistent horror audience didn't turn out for this outing. As usual, though, its small budget means it's already turned a profit.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Fighting with My Family, the comedy about WWE wrestler Paige, pile-drove its competition. Playing on only four screens, the film averaged $32,906. It goes into wide release next week.
  • Glass finally, after five weeks, became the first film of 2019 to cross $100 million. In fairness, we didn't have one in 2018 before Black Panther opened.
  • Aquaman passed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to become the second-biggest movie in the DC Extended Universe.

Next week:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the only major new release. Based on the diminishing returns of the franchise, I'm predicting a $40 million opening, but a finish of less than $150 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.