Alita Stomps on LEGO 2 Over Painful President’s Day Weekend

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In the movie Alita: Battle Angel, the titular hero tells us she “will not stand by in the presence of evil.”

Apparently, she won’t stand by in the presence of LEGOs, either.

Alita: Battle Angel hauled its collection of spare cyborg parts to the top of the box-office heap this weekend, collecting $27.8 million during the traditional Friday-through-Sunday time frame. It’ll likely stay on top for President’s Day, too. In fact, experts believe that by the time all the receipts are counted between Valentine’s Day (when Alita officially opened) and Monday, the dystopian actioner could clear $41 million.

Granted, that won’t be enough for writer/producer James Cameron to buy himself another yacht. He and his cohorts spent upwards of $170 million to make Alita. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie would need to gross at least $500 million worldwide just to break even. Still, Alita’s not quite the mega-bomb some prognosticators suspected it might be. In fact it, unlike almost everything else in theaters, actually overperformed a bit.

That’s probably the real takeaway from the weekend: how little this batch of movies took in at all. Just one year after the top 12 films playing over President’s Day weekend set an all-time record of $270 million (Thanks mostly to Black Panther, which made more than $200 million on its own), this weekend’s drowsy dozen will be clear about $110 million. That’s the slowest President’s Day weekend in 15 years.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part landed in second place behind Alita, dumping another $21.2 million into its own Bin of Stor-Aj. Its overall tally now stands at $62.7 million, and experts say it’ll likely pull down another $7 million or so on Presidents Day. That would bring its overall domestic take to around $70 million—or about what the first LEGO Movie did during its first weekend.

The rom-com satire Isn’t It Romantic collected a cold, cynical $14.2 million over its debut weekend. Add in the money it gathered up over Valentine’s Day (it opened on Wednesday), and the Rebel Wilson vehicle has chugged to $20.5 million overall—a rather chilly kiss on the hand by box-office standards. Everyone knows that cash is a rom-com’s best friend.

What Men Want fell from second to fourth place with $10.9 million, while another newcomer, the horror flick Happy Death Day 2U, closed out the top five with a rather unhappy $9.8 million.

Oh, and since this is the last time we’ll convene here for box-office results before the Oscars telecast, let’s look at how the best picture nominees are faring financially.

Black Panther, naturally, leads the pack with its whopping $700.1 million (which makes it the third-biggest domestic release of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar, for those scoring at home). Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born both are bona fide hits, too, with $211.9 million and $209.8 million, respectively.

Most of the rest of the nominees have been fairly successful by art-house standards: Green Book has banked $65.8 million, BlacKkKlansman $48.7 million and Vice $46.1 million. Oddly, the two films that have garnered the most nominations—10 apiece—are bringing up the rear financially speaking, though one comes with an asterisk. The Favourite has made $31.1 million. Roma, meanwhile, is now playing on Netflix after a limited theatrical release (in order to qualify for Academy nominations), and the streaming company has not released any figures for that critically acclaimed film at all.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 3 months ago
The only upcoming movies I know I want to see are A Madea Family Funeral, Dumbo, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Disney Nature's Penguins (especially since Dolphins was inexplicably deleted from the release schedule last year), and if Clint Eastwood comes out with something new again.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I'm overjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody is doing as well as it is. It truly was the best movie I saw all of last year.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I feel like ill never get first comment....... :(

-some guy
charitysplace 3 months ago
People stayed home and watched The Umbella Academy on Netflix instead?
Anonymous 3 months ago
I would. I don't know if I'm going to be allowed to watch it though.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
So why don't you talk about Infinity War's numbers up there? Hmm? It was nominated for an Academy Award and it made more money (Worldwide) then Black Panther. 
I haven't seen Roma, although I kind of want too since the director of one of my favorite Harry Potter films made it. No interest in A Star is Born. Minor Interest in Bohemian Rhapsody. I do want to see Green Book and BlacKkKlansman.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
Sad that Lego Movie 2 underperformed. I really enjoyed it! Though, I probably won't see it in theatres again due to the fact that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World releases this weekend.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Probably because Black Panther got 7 nominations while Infinity War got just one. (although Infinity War should've been nominated for best film and Josh Brolin should've been nominated for best supporting actor)
Anonymous 3 months ago
@First Comment Guy, I agree. I know why they didn't put Infinity War on there I still think they should have, though.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Paul Asay 3 months ago
@First Comment Guy and @A-Non-Mouse, Paul here. I was really just talking about the best picture nominees. Infinity Wars missed out on best picture.
B Evans 3 months ago
You liked Prisoner of Azkaban? That was the worst in the series...
Anonymous 3 months ago
No. The worst film in the series was Goblet of Fire. J.K. Rowling told a great story in the book but it was terribly executed in the film. I don't enjoy The Prisoner of Azkaban as much as The Half-Blood Prince which is probably my favorite with Deathly Hallows Part 1 not far behind. I really enjoyed The Prisoner of Azkaban book and that probably plays into it being one of my favorite films. I really like Gary Oldman's introduction as Sirius Black. Sirius is one of my favorite characters throughout the series. I also like that this is the first truly dark film and it gets you ready for the next one even though the film sucked. My Second Least Favorite is probably the first one.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
charitysplace 3 months ago
I thought The Goblet of Fire was the first movie that really captured the magic of the books. It's still my favorite film. The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book, but I really felt let down by the movie. :/
Anonymous 3 months ago
I agree compared to the book Azkaban is not nearly as good, but the Goblet of Fire movie ruined the book for me. It was only at five when David Yates took over when things began to get truly magical. The sixth movie is my favorite one, the fifth book is my favorite one. The fifth movie was good but not nearly as good as the ones that come after it. The ending was so well done on six. But all of the books are better than the movies.
 
Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
I wholeheartedly agree that The Prisoner of Azkaban was the worst Harry Potter movie. It was just one big convoluted mess with the whole time travel element making things even worse. The Goblet of Fire was the first Harry Potter film to really blow me away and each subsequent one became better and better culminating in the beyond awesome Deathly Hallows, Part 2. I'm one of those fans though who has only seen the movies and never read the books outside of the first one.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Here before A-Non-Mouse.
Anonymous 3 months ago
What ever happened to "First person to comment should also say something constructive" LOL?
-David the Clown (also before A-Non-Mouse)
Anonymous 3 months ago
Sad. A-Non-Mouse didn't make it...

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Just joking around. If you wanna throw the blue shell at me, go right ahead.
Anonymous 3 months ago
"I get that reference!" -Captain America in Marvel's The Avengers

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 3 months ago
@First Comment Guy
Mamamia!
-David the Clown