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Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Rules Overseas With $62 Million Launch in China

Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated the international box office, amassing $92.5 million in 82 markets.

The cyberpunk adventure landed a much-needed win in China with its $62.3 million debut, the studio’s biggest opening of all time in that territory. “Alita: Battle Angel” also launched in Japan with $3.2 million. This weekend’s haul brings ticket sales to $263 million worldwide.

Fox is banking on overseas markets to generate a profit for the expensive CGI-spectacular. Produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film cost $170 million to produce and millions more in marketing and distribution. Executives at rival studios estimate “Alita: Battle Angel” will need to gross about $500 million globally to get in the black, while insiders at Fox estimate the break-even number hovers around $350 million.

“Alita” faces a crowded box office overseas, where it’s competing with Hollywood titles like “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” as well as local films like China’s sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth.”

“The Wandering Earth,” which was recently nabbed by Netflix, continues to do big business in China. It picked up $36 million this weekend, taking its worldwide total to a massive $679 million.

While the third installment in Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise led the domestic box office, it placed third internationally. The animated threequel added another $32 million to its foreign bounty, taking receipts past $200 million overseas. It launched in North America with a series-best $55.5 million start and has now earned $275 million globally. “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” debuted in nine new territories this weekend, including Russia ($11.2 million), Spain ($2.8 million), and the Philippines ($1.7 million). It debuts in China on March 1.

Another family friendly title, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” pocketed another $10.3 million in 73 markets. The movie has made $136.6 million worldwide, with $53 million of that bounty coming from international territories. “The Lego Movie” sequel bowed in France this weekend with $1.2 million, along with Italy ($963,000). Despite solid reviews, it continues to pace well behind its predecessors.

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