By Maureen Lee Lenker
February 17, 2019 at 01:21 PM EST
Twentieth Century Fox

Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel may be winning the box office battle, but it’s likely losing the war.

The sci-fi epic is on track to win the weekend with an estimated $27.8 million in ticket sales at 3,790 theaters in the U.S. and Canada from Friday through Sunday ($33 million through Monday). The film opened on Thursday bringing its total debut to $36.5 million through Sunday. While the cyberpunk film easily takes the box office crown for the weekend, it’s a dismaying opening for a film that reportedly cost around $200 million to make. The weekend falls far below last year’s Presidents’ Day take where the record-breaking Black Panther scored a $242 million domestic opening in its debut.

Lego Movie 2: The Second Part held strong in its second week at the box office, taking second place with an estimated $27 million across 4,303 theaters for the four-day weekend. It continues to lag far behind the 2014 original, which scored an impressive $130 million in its first two weekends. Its $62.7 cumulative total across two weekends falls short of The Lego Movie’s original opening take of $69 million in its first weekend.

Other buzzy new release meta rom-com Isn’t it Romantic took third place with an estimated $16 million across 3,444 theaters for the long weekend.

Produced by sci-fi icon James Cameron, Alita: Battle Angel follows the story of a compassionate doctor (Christoph Waltz) who realizes that the cyborg shell he is nurturing also harbors the heart and soul of a young woman (Rosa Salazar) with a mysterious past. Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earle Haley, and Mahershala Ali also star. The film has taken a pounding from critics, which could contribute to its lower overall total.

Michael Parmelee/Warner Bros.

Isn’t It Romantic sought to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day tie-in, even opening on Wednesday to get couples in for the Thursday holiday, bringing its cumulative debut total to an estimated $20.5 million through Sunday for its third-place opening.

The film is a meta-riff on rom-coms, sending up many tropes of the genre in its story about Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a young architect disenchanted with love who suddenly wakes up to find herself trapped in a romantic comedy. Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, the film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Adam DeVine, and Priyanka Chopra.

Michele K. Short/Universal

This weekend’s other new release, Universal’s horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U, is poised to take the fifth place spot with an estimated total $11.5 million total across 3,207 theaters for Friday through Monday.  This comedic horror film is a follow up to 2017 hit Happy Death Day, returning to heroine Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as she encounters new dangers after her dying over and over again in Groundhog Day fashion in the first film. Laura Clifton, Steve Zissis, and Suraj Sharma also star in the Christopher Landon helmed film. The sequel can’t repeat its former glory, taking in less than half of the original film’s $26 million opening.

Comedy gender-bent remake What Men Want rounds out the top five with its fourth place take of an estimated $12.6 million across 2,912 theaters for the long weekend. It’s down approximately 40 percent from its opening weekend.

Overall box office is down 19.7 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore, a number which sinks increasingly lower due to the lack of a major hit on the scale of last year’s Black Panther. Check out the Feb. 15-17 numbers below.

1. Alita: Battle Angel — $27.8 million
2. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part — $21.2 million
3. Isn’t It Romantic— $14.2 million
4. What Men Want— $10.9 million
5. Happy Death Day 2U— $9.8 million
6. Cold Pursuit — $6 million
7. The Upside— $5.8 million
8. Glass— $3.9 million
9. The Prodigy— $3.2 million
10. Green Book — $2.8 million

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