Despite the odds being stacked against it happening, an Alita: Battle Angel sequel is now a real possibility. How real? That depends on what Disney (who is now, in effect, in control of the franchise) sees in it, but it's at least something that is going to be considered and fans of the first movie have some hope to hold onto.
James Cameron shepherded this adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's beloved manga through the production process as a passion project of his, with Robert Rodriguez taking the reins as director. Despite the fact that many saw this as a surefire flop, it has defied expectations and, at the very least, won't lose the studio any money. As such, the inevitable discussions about a sequel can now occur.
As of this writing, Alita: Battle Angel has grossed $402.6 million at the worldwide box office. That's $85 million domestic and $317 million internationally, including a stellar $132 million from China. Even with the reported $170 million production budget, after theaters take their cut, the movie should break even, thanks, in part, to some tax credits. That still leaves any home video revenues and merchandise money on the table. While those will be relatively minimal, it means that this ambitious blockbuster may defy the odds and actually make a little money. Emphasis on a little once the marketing budget is recouped, but that's still a big deal.
There are clearly places to go with the story, should James Cameron decided he wants to move forward with a sequel. And Disney purchased Fox in order to take advantage of what franchises they have to offer, which includes Cameron's Avatar sequels. Maybe Cameron could convince Disney Alita: Battle Angel 2 could be even more profitable, if they learn from their mistakes? Or maybe Disney will reach out to Cameron about it? Either way, it's likely a conversation or two will at least take place. For his part, Cameron, in an interview with Digital Spy prior to the movie's release, discussed the possibility of a sequel.
"Well, we obviously have a plan for that. But it's cheeky to set up a sequel before you're proven. That can blow back in your face. We think of something like Warcraft that was clearly set up with the intention to do sequels, and then it becomes mock-able because the film doesn't succeed. But I don't worry about stuff like that. If the film fails, it's its own punishment, you know? It doesn't matter if we get mocked on top of having failed."
Alita: Battle Angel holds a 60 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, but it fared much better with fans, as it currently holds a 94 percent audience rating. Could this thing go the Pacific Rim route and actually get a follow-up? Granted, that sequel didn't pan out so well, but the lead up to the sequel feels oddly similar. We'll have to see how this shakes out, but don't be shocked to hear that Alita: Battle Angel 2, or whatever they want to call it, is actually in the works at some point. This news was previously reported by Forbes.