Box office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ leads underwhelming Presidents Day weekend

Alita, voiced by Rosa Salazar, in the movie "Alita: Battle Angel."
(20th Century Fox )

This year’s Presidents Day weekend box office pales in comparison with last year’s record-setting result, which was buoyed by the runaway success of “Black Panther.” In contrast, this year’s box office is down 57.7% week-to-week from last year and down 19.7% year-to-date.

In first place, Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” which opened on Thursday, earned an estimated $27.8 million over the three-day weekend and is expected to earn $33 million Friday-Monday, and $36.5 million for five days, according to figures from measurement firm Comscore.

The $175-million film was originally to be directed by James Cameron as early as 2004 before he refocused his attention on an “Avatar” sequel. In 2015, Robert Rodriguez was named director with Cameron remaining onboard as a producer. The film earned a 58% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

At No. 2, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” earned an estimated $21.2 million in its second weekend (and an expected $27 million haul through Monday) for a cumulative $62.7 million.


The studio’s “Isn’t It Romantic” debuted in third place with $14.2 million over the weekend (an expected $16-million haul through Monday) and a $20.4 million cumulative since its Wednesday opening.

The Rebel Wilson-led romantic comedy earned less over the weekend than her 2016 comedy “How to Be Single,” which opened with $17.8 million. “Isn’t It Romantic” earned a 69% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Paramount’s “What Men Want” earned an estimated $10.9 million in its second weekend ($12.6 million through Presidents Day) and dropped to No. 4, for a cumulative $36.1 million.

Rounding out the top five, Universal’s sequel “Happy Death Day 2U” is expected to earn $9.8 million Friday-Sunday, $11.5 million through Monday and $13.5 million since its release on Wednesday, well below the original’s $26-million opening gross. Despite the low result, the film earned a 66% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


In limited release, MGM opened “Fighting With My Family” on Wednesday in four theaters to $131,625 over the weekend (a solid per-screen average of $32,906) and a cumulative $166,041.

Focus Features’ “Everybody Knows” added 19 locations (for a total of 23) and $191,000 in its second weekend for a cumulative $286,000.

Next week, Universal releases the animated adventure “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “Fighting With My Family” expands into wide release.


Twitter: @sonaiyak