Sci-fi fantasy ‘Alita’ tops N. American box office

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Fox’s new sci-fi fantasy “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated the North American box office charts over the holiday weekend, earning $33.5-million, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said on Tuesday.

The futuristic film, which stars Rosa Salazar voicing “Alita,” a cyborg almost more human than machine, is a computer-animated adaptation of a Japanese cyberpunk manga story.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron, the project for the $170-million film was 20-years in the making.

The Fox film beat out last weekend’s leader, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” which earned Warner Bros an estimated $27.8-million over the Presidents Day weekend.

This fourth “Lego” movie again features the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett – joined this time by Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph – in a story of love and chaos in a post-apocalyptic toyland.

In third was another Warner Bros. film, “Isn’t It Romantic?”, at $16.6-million. Rebel Wilson stars as a rom-com hating New Yorker who, after a blow to the head, finds herself in her own romantic comedy. Liam Hemsworth also stars.

Fourth place went to Paramount’s “What Men Want.” The gender-switching remake of 2000’s “What Women Want” stars Taraji P. Henson. It had four-day ticket sales of $12.2-million.

And in fifth was “Happy Death Day 2U” from Universal, at $11-million  – already recouping the mere $9-million it cost to make. Jessica Rothe again plays the role of a young woman living and reliving the day of her murder.

Rounding out the weekend’s top 10 were: “Cold Pursuit” ($6.9-million), “The Upside” ($6.5-million), “Glass” ($4.6-million),”The Prodigy” ($3.7-million) and “Green Book” ($3.5-million)

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