BOX OFFICE: “Alita,” “Isn’t it Romantic” and “Death Day” make it a Dead Presidents Day Weekend


Box office prognosticators have been warning Fox and theater owners not to expect diddly from the opening of the $170 million “Alita: Battle Angel,” which James Cameron handed to Robert Rodriguez in a “Hold my beer” move meant to expedite his “Avatar” sequels.

Cameron was going to direct the manga adaptation, and his imprint is all over the tin-eared script and generally whimsy free enterprise.

We were told, “Well, it won’t open huge — only $37 million over the Presidents Day Weekend.” A $50-65 opening would have been healthy, considering the budget, with foreign territories carrying it easily into the black.

Not to be. A non-franchise sci-fi fantasy with a hint of ill-fated “This’ll never work” robot/human romance, this reminder of why Japan’s population is shrinking won’t do much better than $27 million, per, based on opening night-before and opening day numbers.


Indifferent reviews didn’t help. It’s joyless and simple-minded, and the fact that its in 3D doesn’t matter. Bombs away.

It’ll barely best an underwhelming “Lego Movie” sequel, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” which on its second weekend is also on track to collect $27 million or so.

Rebel Wilson’s blase rom-com send up “Isn’t it Romantic?” isn’t swimming in Valentine’s Week cash. It did decent business Wed and Thursday is falling off the to point where it’ll fall short of $13 million over the weekend by midnight Monday — $18-19 million since Wed. Nobody’s leaping from the ledge over this one, at least.

“What Men Want” is having a decent second weekend — nothing to brag or cry about.

The other new opening is a desultory horror sequel, wringing the last few frights and laughs out of Jessica Rothe’s sorority girl “Buffy” surviving a “Groundhog Day” of grisly deaths. Hers. “Happy Death Day 2U” is headed towards a $10-11 million opening.

“Cold Pursuit” is headed to an icy grave, and “Green Book” and “Aquaman” are finally long gone from the Top Ten.




About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.