'Alita', 'Happy Death Day 2' and 'Isn't It Romantic' Debut Over President's Day Weekend
by Brad Brevet
February 14, 2019
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $7.5 million, Fox's Alita: Battle Angel is well on its way to a #1 finish over the three and four-day weekend. The film brought in nearly $9 million on its opening day and is now looking at a $24+ million three-day gross and a $28-29 million four-day, which would give the film an overall #37+ million five-day performance. The film received an "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.'s release of New Line's Isn't It Romantic is delivering mostly on expectations after debuting this past Wednesday. The rom-com brought in an estimated $4.18 million on Friday and is now looking at a $13+ million three-day and a four-day right around $15 million. This would give the feature a $21-22 million six-day start. Isn't It Romantic received a "B" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.
Universal's release of Blumhouse's Happy Death Day 2U, however, is struggling compared to expectations. The film brought in an estimated $2.8 million on Friday and is now looking at a $9 million three-day and a $10+ million four-day. Overall this would give the film a $14+ million six-day start, well shy of the $20+ million expectations, though it's important to remember the film is carrying just a $9 million budget, which means this opening puts the film well on its way to profitability. Opening day audiences gave the feature a "B" CinemaScore.
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: In recent years President's Day weekend has given us hits including Black Panther, Deadpool and Fifty Shades of Grey. This year's crop, however, isn't expected to debut to such lofty heights. While Fox's Alita: Battle Angel hopes to edge out WB's The LEGO Movie 2 for the weekend's top spot, look for Universal's release of Blumhouse's Happy Death Day 2U and WB and New Line's Isn't It Romantic to battle for third and fourth position over what looks to be another down weekend with the top twelve poised to deliver less than half of last year's total, which was energized by Black Panther's monster debut.
Getting its start last night and bringing in $2.4 million from Wednesday evening previews (and grosses from Tuesday night fan event screenings), Fox's Alita: Battle Angel carries its lofty, $175 million production budget into 3,790 locations today. The long-in-development title has been in the IMDbPro database since 2004 when they were finishing up a shooting draft of the script with James Cameron set to direct. As we all know, Cameron turned his attention to Avatar and in 2015 Robert Rodriguez took over directorial duties with Cameron remaining on as producer. The film is finally hitting theaters after all these years with marketing declaring it a must-see 3D event and audiences, so far, seem to have been listening with 3D showings accounting for 66% of the film's preview gross on Wednesday.
From a critical standpoint, reviews have been mixed, with the film receiving a 54 score on Metacritic and a "just fresh" rating on RottenTomatoes of 61%. Fox is hoping for a five-day debut reaching $30+ million and the preview gross, along with some of the IMDb page view signals we've been getting, signal a good start toward reaching that number. At this time we're anticipating a three-day performance around $23 million and a five-day topping $31 million. There is a chance it goes higher, but with these numbers it's going to be a long road ahead for a film carrying such a large budget.
Alita has already gotten underway internationally and brought in $35.6 million so far from 11 markets in release. This weekend it adds 74 additional markets including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Mexico, Russia and Spain.
WB's The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, which fell well below expectations in its debut last weekend, should tangle with Alita for that top spot over the three-day and we're expecting a narrow race for the four-day weekend. This weekend we're looking for a decent hold and a $20-21 million three-day, likely ceding the top spot to Alita while potentially moving to #1 for the four-day President's Day weekend as the film's domestic gross looks to top ~$67 million by end of day Monday.
Expect the weekend's two other new wide releases, Universal's Happy Death Day 2U and WB and New Line's Isn't It Romantic, to land in the weekend's third and fourth slots. Both films are looking to perform relatively similar, delivering $22+ million over the six-day frame with Romantic likely to pick up a large amount of that total during evening's Valentine's Day showings.
Both films debuted on Wednesday with Romantic scoring $1.8 million, easily topping Death Day's $980k, which looks more like a preview performance than an actual opening day, especially when compared to the $1 million the first film brought in from Thursday night previews before a $26 million opening weekend. To that point, the Happy Death Day sequel is pacing well behind the original when looking at IMDb page view data leading up to release, though that's not entirely unexpected.
As for Romantic, it is pacing a bit behind the likes of Snatched ($19.5m opening) and A Bad Moms Christmas ($16.7m three-day / $21.2 million five-day), and well behind star Rebel Wilson's How to be Single ($17.8m three-day) when looking at IMDb page view data leading up to release. While not a concrete signal, this does have us thinking Romantic has the largest chance of falling short of expectations, though Valentine's Day should give it a good bump overall and reviews are trending somewhat positive, rating a 62 on Metacritic and 67% on RottenTomatoes, though the early audience score at RottenTomatoes rates it at 59% and the IMDb rating stands at 5.6/10, which may hurt its word of mouth over the weekend should those opinions prove the majority.
Rounding out the top five, Paramount's What Men Want delivered on expectations last weekend and we're looking for a dip around -39% and a $11+ million performance over the three-day and ~$13 million for the four-day, pushing the film's domestic cume to $34-35 million by end of day Monday.
In limited release, MGM will release Fighting With My Family in four theaters this weekend prior to expanding nationwide next weekend. Additionally, Sony Classics will open Ruben Brandt, Collector in two theaters with IFC debuting Donnybrook in over 80 locations.
This weekend's three and four-day forecasts are directly below. This post will be updated with Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
THREE-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST
- Alita: Battle Angel (3,790 theaters) - $23.0 M
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (4,303 theaters) - $21.0 M
- Happy Death Day 2U (3,207 theaters) - $17.0 M
- Isn't It Romantic (3,444 theaters) - $16.0 M
- What Men Want (2,912 theaters) - $11.1 M
- Cold Pursuit (2,630 theaters) - $6.5 M
- The Upside (2,781 theaters) - $5.4 M
- Glass (2,449 theaters) - $3.8 M
- The Prodigy (2,530 theaters) - $2.8 M
- Green Book (1,618 theaters) - $2.6 M
FOUR-DAY WEEKEND FORECAST
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (4,303 theaters) - $26.5 M
- Alita: Battle Angel (3,790 theaters) - $26.5 M
- Happy Death Day 2U (3,207 theaters) - $20.0 M
- Isn't It Romantic (3,444 theaters) - $20.0 M
- What Men Want (2,912 theaters) - $13.3 M
- Cold Pursuit (2,630 theaters) - $7.7 M
- The Upside (2,781 theaters) - $6.6 M
- Glass (2,449 theaters) - $4.6 M
- The Prodigy (2,530 theaters) - $3.3 M
- Green Book (1,618 theaters) - $3.1 M
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