Say hello to the worst President’s Day weekend box office in 15 years


It wasn’t a great weekend for money making at the movies, especially if you compare it to last year’s President’s Day weekend, which saw the astronomically high debut of Black Panther. In fact the $101.1 million that the top 12 movies pulled in this weekend make for the worst one in 15 years. You would think with news like that the studios wouldn’t be too happy but it’s a bit more complicated.

See, this three-day weekend wasn’t expected to do well, and the number one film, Alit: Battle Angel, finds itself in a weird place. The studios thought it would only pull in $30 million or so over the five-day window but it looks like it will land around $44 million. Normally when a movie does that well it would be a big hit and everyone would be jumping for joy. However, Alita cost a lot of money to make and it won’t be earning that money back any time soon even with the probably-solid box office it will get from China and Japan this week. Then again… again… Fox had probably already written this one off their books as a flop so the extra cash might make them call it a success. I would hope for that since the film was fun as hell and I’d like a sequel.

The exact opposite situation happened with Happy Death Day 2U, which had an early Valentine’s Day opening but performed about $5 million under expectations for the studio over that time period. Of course, Blumhouse makes their movies on such a shoestring budget the film has already made its money back and any other profits are just icing on the cake. Would the studio like more profits? Duh. But the entire Blumhouse model is built on making returns on low-budget fare. Definitely, an interesting contrast if nothing else.

Note: Numbers are for the four-day weekend

1. Alita: Battle Angel – $34,300,000
2. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – $27,325,000
3. Isn’t It Romantic – $16,640,000
4. What Men Want – $12,370,000
5. Happy Death Day 2U – $11,012,000
6. Cold Pursuit – $7,000,000
7. The Upside – $6,560,000
8. Glass – $4,666,000
9. The Prodigy – $3,641,178
10. Green Book – $3,492,000

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Flixist. He has worked as a critic for more than a decade, reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.