Weekend box office: Alita: Battle Angel and Isn’t It Romantic struggle

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL may have “won” the weekend box office, but since it will struggle to open with $30 million over the long weekend, no one at the studio is going to be celebrating.  Although it was massively successful, AVATAR is not a good movie to model yourself after.  Very few movies succeed by being an “event” or selling a gimmick without giving you a good story and interesting characters.  ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL is learning the lesson that great visual effects and a fun movie-going experience aren’t enough.  Or, maybe audiences were just weirded out by the lead character’s eyes.  The other new movies of the weekend didn’t fare much better.  The only romantic comedy opening up after Valentine’s Day was ISN’T IT ROMANTIC, which barely broke $15 million.  That’s not terrible for Rebel Wilson, but probably should have been higher given the lack of competition.  Speaking of zero competition, the teeny horror sequel HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U couldn’t even generate half of its predecessor’s opening.

Studios have cleared the slate next week, making way for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD.  The Train Your Dragon films are good, but I’m always surprised by how much other critics love them.  The third film in the series is no exception as it has received glowing early reviews and should do extremely well at the box office.  THE LEGO MOVIE 2 will take some of its audience, but it won’t matter in the end because nothing is going to come close.  Note: the numbers below are for the four day weekend and will be updated as they become final.

1. Alita: Battle Angel $28.8m

2. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part $24.7m

3. Isn’t It Romantic $15.5m

4. What Men Want $12mm

5. Happy Death Day 2U $10.4m

6. Cold Pursuit $6.5m

7. The Upside $6.5m

8. Glass $4.4m

9. The Prodigy $3.5m

10. Green Book $3.2m

(Deadline)

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