'Alita' defeats rivals in North American box office

Sci-fi spectacle 'Alita: Battle Angel' conquers North American box offices, raking in an estimated $33 million

Agence France-Presse

Published: 3:18 AM February 19, 2019

Updated: 3:18 AM February 19, 2019

BOX OFFICE SUCCESS. 'Alita' dominates the weekend with $33 million. Photo from Alita's Instagram account

LOS ANGELES, USA – Fox's new sci-fi spectacle Alita: Battle Angel is dominating North American box offices with an estimated $33 million take this 4-day holiday weekend, industry trackers said Sunday, February 17.

The film, with Rosa Salazar voicing Alita, a cyborg almost more human than machine, was set to make $27.8 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period and an additional $5.2 million for Monday's President's Day holiday, Exhibitor Relations reported.

The computer-animated adaptation of a Japanese cyberpunk manga story has big names behind it, directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron. The project, 20 years in the making, also has a sizable budget: $170 million.

The Fox film beat out last weekend's leader, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which earned Warner Bros an estimated $21.2 million in ticket sales for the first 3 days of the weekend and $27.3 million when Monday is included.

This 4th Lego movie again features the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett – joined this time by Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph – in a story of love and chaos in a post-apocalyptic toyland.

In 3rd was another Warner Bros. film, Isn't It Romantic?, at $14.2 million for 3 days and $16.5 million for 4. Rebel Wilson stars as a rom-com hating New Yorker who, after a blow to the head, finds herself in her own romantic comedy. Liam Hemsworth also stars.

4th place went to Paramount's What Men Want. The gender-switching remake of 2000's What Women Want stars Taraji P. Henson. It had 3-day ticket sales of $10.9 million and a 4-day total of $12.6 million.

And in 5th was "Happy Death Day 2U" from Universal, at $9.8 million for 3 days and $11.5 million for 4 – already recouping the mere $9 million it cost to make. Jessica Rothe again plays the role of a young woman living and reliving the day of her murder.

Rounding out the weekend's top 10 were:

Cold Pursuit ($6 million for 3 days; $7.1 million for 4)

The Upside ($5.6 million; $6.7 million)

Glass ($3.9 million; $4.8 million)

The Prodigy ($3.2 million; $3.8 million)

Green Book ($2.8 million; $3.5 million)

– Rappler.com