Alita: Battle Angel is heading to cinemas this week and for all intents and purposes it could be one of 2019’s biggest flops. Backed by a reported USD200 million budget, 20th Century Fox will no doubt be praying that the Robert Rodriguez film will regroup the amount at the box-office, however we aren’t so sure.
Critics haven’t warmed to the film, as it currently sits with a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the trailers haven’t been convincing, despite openly stating that it was produced by James Cameron. In a lot of ways, Alita: Battle Angel sounds a lot like Mortal Engines, which also plastered Peter Jackson’s name over its trailers. That film spectacularly bombed at the box-office with less than USD100 at the global box-office.
Film studios’ have made a habit on placing big bucks on CGI-skewed films, backed by spectacular visuals and effects. But they’ve been mildly received for the most part. Alita: Battle Angel risks falling into this category despite the good source material at hand.
The trailers alone aren’t doing the film any favours as most only remember them for the bug eyed heroine. And then there’s the post-apocalyptic setting, which quite frankly has been a hit and miss at the box-office in recent years.
But 20th Century Fox likely knows it has a potential flop on its hands, which may explain the shifting of the film’s release date in the past year. Alita: Battle Angel was initially pegged for a July 2018 release before it was pushed to December the same year.
The main issue for Alita: Battle Angel is whether it has enough pull to attract hard core fans to the cinema whilst luring in potential curious audiences with its promise of a special-effects laden adventure.
However, just like Mortal Engines and Ghost in the Shell, most audiences will not be bothered completely to check it out, sans perhaps a solid word of mouth. But as of right now, we’re not seeing that happening, which is why we’re planning on sitting out watching this anime adaptation on the big screen.