James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend.
Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday.
The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far behind 2018 — and could lag by more than 20% by weekend’s end. That’s mostly due to Marvel-Disney’s mega-hit “Black Panther” having launched during the same holiday frame a year ago, with $242 million over the four days.
Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” finished fifth on Valentine’s Day with $2.2 million at 4,303 screens, giving the animated comedy $40.9 million for its first week. It should close the holiday weekend with about $68 million in its first 11 days.
New Line’s “Isn’t It Romantic” pulled in $4.4 million on Valentine’s Day for a two-day total of $6.2 million at 3,444 sites. The satirical comedy, which opened on Wednesday, should end up with around $18 million by the end of the holiday frame.
“What Men Want” took in $3.2 million at 2,912 venues on Valentine’s for a first-week haul of $25.2 million. “Happy Death Day 2U,” starring Jessica Rothe as a young woman who once again finds herself living the same day over and over again, is heading for a modest six-day tally of $11 million by the end of Presidents Day.
“Happy Death Day 2U” is a low-risk project, with a $9 million price tag. The 2017 original was highly profitable, earning $125 million at the worldwide box office.