Author Topic: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)  (Read 2797 times)

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2019, 03:32:00 PM »
The box office performance of Alita: Battle Angel won't even factor into it.  It just won't.  The production of further Avatar sequels will be entirely dependent on the performance of the initial sequels.  Again, studios aren't going to lay the blame of a flop at the feet of the producer, especially if that producer is James Cameron; the guy who holds the record for making the highest grossing movies in the history of cinema.

Famous directors often act as a producer for a film that they want to see get made; to help secure funding and to help attract a wider audience, through name recognition.  They do so because they like the premise of the film and in the hope that it will be a hit because their name will be on all of the advertising.  They're not in fear, that should it fail, they'll have trouble securing funding for their own future directorial pursuits.  Quentin Tarantino wasn't shitting bricks, worrying about the future of his career, should Eli Roth's Hostel bomb at the box office.

No studio is going to say "hmm, this Avatar sequel underperformed but perhaps we'll forge ahead with the other sequels regardless.  Oh no, hold on!  That Alita: Battle Angel movie that Cameron produced was a flop!  Cancel all Avatar sequels immediately.  We would have made the sequels but because a movie he produced also flopped, everything is now null and void".  That's not how it works.

If Cameron had directed, instead of produced, Alita: Battle Angel and it flopped, then I could see that potentially factoring in to a decision regarding the future of Avatar (although, it would be a minuscule factor, compared to the performance of the Avatar sequel itself).

This is all rather a moot point of course because the Avatar sequels are going to do absolute gangbusters at the box office.  I wish that they wouldn't; I'd like nothing more than to see them crash and burn because I'm a miser and I fucking hated the first one but I don't represent the majority of the cinema going public.  However, I do suspect that the sequels won't come close to achieving the box office phenomenon of the first movie (with diminishing returns for each subsequent sequel) but I severely doubt that they'll outright bomb.  I think they'll be big hits and even if they do underperform in America and other parts of the world, then China will surely be there to pick up the slack.

To me this seems like a bit more than a director just lending his name to a film, Cameron hasn't just produced it he's also co written it hasn't he? the film itself as well isn't going typical lower/midbudget release a big name director gets behind like say Jackson with District 9, its a massive blockbuster and I can imagine Cameron's involvement is actually the main reason its been made at all.

If Avatar 2 does well I'd agree Alita potentially failing would quickly be forgotten but if neither do well that's probably worse for him in terms of getting future funding.

You could argue I spose Cameron might actually end up being quite smart with his timing here, you had a backlash against Avatar in the years afterwards but you could argue when the sequel actually comes out your almost into the realms of nostalgia for a lot of the audience who might have seen it in their teens.

Mister Six

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2019, 05:48:18 PM »
Sorry but Eddie's right - Alita will have no bearing at all on Avatar's sequels. Absolutely none.

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2019, 06:10:48 PM »
Poundland: Grundy Street, Hull 2022: A Burtons tight fit suit wearing Robert Rodriguez walks in and belittles a family buying cheap Haribo and bleach; " Whadda ya mean, you don't remember Alita: Battle Agent?... Its over there for one pound quid, next to the Mini Cheddars mulitipack"

St_Eddie

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2019, 06:34:47 PM »
Sorry but Eddie's right - Alita will have no bearing at all on Avatar's sequels. Absolutely none.

Thank you. It's not something which is up in the air and up for debate.  It won't have an impact on the future of the Avatar franchise and that's all there is to it.  I don't care for the way that Hollywood operates and I sure as shit don't care for the continuation of Avatar as a franchise (and it is a 'franchise'... urgh) but it is what it is.

James Cameron isn't going to lose credibility in Hollywood because a movie which he produced, floped.  No way, no how.  It's not how Hollywood operates.  A director is judged by the profit margins of the movies which he/she directed.  A producer is judged by the movies which he/she produced.  The two are completely separate.

"Oh, you provided craft services for a movie which flopped, ergo we factor that dodgy egg salad into our decision to allow you to to compose any further soundtracks, even though you're renowned for providing the most popular soundtracks in all of cinema's history".  No.  Just no.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 06:54:03 PM by St_Eddie »

St_Eddie

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2019, 06:45:26 PM »
Obligatory edit glitch removal.

surreal

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2019, 03:47:12 PM »
It is a mess plotwise.
The lead, Rosa Salazar is full of charm, though I don't know if that's just to do with humans being predisposed to like large eyes.

It's borderline disturbing that Nickelodeon non-threatening bad boy meets world is in Robert Rodriguez cosplay.

Like Ghost in the Shell, it thinks it's futurescapes are a wonder to behold. But in reality it's all been done before.
Also, is the city that bad a place to live. It looks more like a tourist destination for hipster backpackers - of which there appear to be many.
Plus, there's easy access to what looks like lovely countryside.

The plot is all over the place. Her mission of vengeance seems to be suddenly derailed in order to play rollerball.

The worst thing: It's dull. Just far too dull.

Mostly agree with this, just back from watching it - I thought it was better than I expected but it does start to drag a bit towards the end.  It was quite a bit darker than I expected it to be both in the violence and some of the deaths.

I understand why it ended abruptly as it did, seeing the very famous actor cameo right at the end practically screamed "sequel" so I guess they are planning the confrontation for the follow-up, rather than tag a half-hearted attempt on to this one.

I'd watch it again I think, enjoyed it overall 7.5/10

Kelvin

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2019, 05:51:24 PM »
I thought it was awful. Never read the source material, but I'm guessing a lot was cut out, because the film has extremely odd pacing, especially towards the end, when the dramatic beats with the boyfriend are basically repeated straight after one another, and the dad goes from hating the dangerous sport to putting up absolutely no objection, and not even looking that bothered, later on.

It's just a consistently bad script, with mostly bad performances, and absolutely no subtlety or nuance whatsoever. Moments like her big speech in the bar, and the guy talking about his sword belonging to the shitar of Gobblegook, son of Dathamere, it was actually laugh out loud (or into my hand) bad for me. The effects were quite good, especially on Alita, who moves very gracefully, but the only thing I consistently enjoyed was the chemistry between her and the boyfriend - although even that features her literally putting her heart in his hand and telling him to take it, like some kind of psycho stalker.

In fact, that scene is a good example of how weirdly misjudged the tone is at times, with another example being the boyfriend effectively telling her: "I only chop off all their limbs and leave them paralyzed, I'm not a murderer", as if that still wouldn't make him an absolute cunt. Maybe the source material makes his situation look more dire, to provide more context for what he does, but in the film, it's hard to have any sympathy with him after that point.       

It's just full of idiotic scenes. Why didn't the squad jump over the big spinning blade, rather than lying down to shoot it? Why did the wife seem evil and heartless even before she left the Doctor? Why does Alita know what all kinds of things are (like dogs and swords), but hasn't even heard of an orange before? I can overlook inconsistencies like these if the film is good enough in other respects, but it's just emblematic of how sloppy everything about the film was, really. 
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 08:14:34 PM by Kelvin »

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2019, 03:40:17 AM »
In fact, that scene is a good example of how weirdly misjudged the tone is at times, with another example being the boyfriend effectively telling her: "I only chop off all their limbs and leave them paralyzed, I'm not a murderer", as if that still wouldn't make him an absolute cunt.

In the manga, cybernetics are so prevalent that you can get by in life as long as you have an intact brain -- I assume in the movie he's stealing spinal columns like in the book?  A doctor like Ido can get a victim walking again with replacement body parts.  That's why Hugo thinks what he's doing is acceptable, although he's clearly wrong.

samadriel

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2019, 01:42:58 PM »
I hope this does well in China, they'll watch any old tat, and I want more Ed Norton/Desty Nova!  Yeah, I'm tragic.  Even if I weren't slavishly dedicated to Alita, the fight choreography is lovely.

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2019, 05:30:02 PM »
I hope this does well in China, they'll watch any old tat

that's weird though, they do have a tradition of great action films (King Hu, Hark Tsui, Zhang Yimou).

Mister Six

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2019, 11:21:18 PM »
that's weird though, they do have a tradition of great action films (King Hu, Hark Tsui, Zhang Yimou).

When people talk about the Chinese watching Transformers and similar shit, they mean the mainland Chinese. Mainland Chinese cinema severely limited by both government censorship and most of the money men being tasteless boors who are only interested in making a nice return on their investment. As a consequence most of the films produced in China are hackneyed, half-arsed shit, and most of the foreign efforts that make it into cinemas are franchise pablum like Jurassic World.

King Hu and Hark Tsui are/were based in Hong Kong or Taiwan. Taiwan is basically a separate country from China and at the time HK was a British colony. As a consequence were able to make the films they wanted to make. Zhang made his name in mainland China when things were a little bit looser than today, in the late 80s, and has become sufficiently powerful enough that he can pursue his interests - although his latest film has been pulled from Berlin, likely due to government censorship: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/world/asia/zhang-yimou-berlin-film-festival.html

There are still interesting Chinese directors but they're mostly making self-funded zero-budget movies under the radar because there's just no way to do it through the proper channels.

Anyway, the upshot is that mainland Chinese audiences generally have low expectations for films, and more or less no "taste". Obviously there are film buffs and people who make the effort to find good stuff online, but they're in the minority. Not the case in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which have foreign films and well-established film industries (although HK's is becoming flooded with mainland money, so films are leaning more towards self-censorship, and as I understand it Taiwan's industry is fairly poorly funded these days).

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2019, 08:26:49 AM »
I thoroughly enjoyed Alita. Might even go again.

Mister Six

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2019, 12:20:47 AM »
So after writing fucking pages of nonense on this thread, as is usual for me, I actually watched the film and really enjoyed it. I wouldn't say the criticisms upthread are without merit (although stuff like the bounty hunters' bar speech is clearly played for comic effect, not high drama) but they didn't bother me much, and I thought it did a grand job of weaving together a lot of disparate plot strands fairly well and establishing an interesting world that I'd certainly like to see more of. Shame it does look likely to get a sequel.

Kelvin

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2019, 01:12:20 AM »
(although stuff like the bounty hunters' bar speech is clearly played for comic effect, not high drama)

Well, the reaction is played for laughs, but her speech is still meant to represent her stepping up and finding her leadership qualities. Maybe that was a bad example, though.

Mister Six

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2019, 01:21:42 AM »
No, it's supposed to show the last vestiges of her idealism and naiveté. She fails to do anything other than cause a bar brawl, and only gets help from that one bounty hunter because the baddie cunted a dog.

She doesn't have an leadership qualities, and in fact never leads anyone at any point.

I agree that they bungled the doctor's reaction to the motorball though - that should have been a big moment of him showing he's prepared to let her be her own woman but they just gloss over it. Same with her calling him dad after pointedly telling him she's not his daughter earlier in the film.

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2019, 08:15:47 AM »
Just got back from this, thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have some history with the series as despite never reading the manga, the anime adaptation was the first tape I ever bought with my own money and I watched it to the point I can still remember whole chunks of the english dub verbatim. The anime was basically 13-year-old me's favourite thing ever, so I was hesitant about how they were going to adapt it going in, though I was cautiously optimistic given the surprisingly positive reception here.

As much as it adds quite a lot of its own stuff, it's quite faithful to the anime in particular, with entire scenes and plot beats present and correct. The anime was quite a bit bloodier but it feels like the body horror elements have been ramped up here, was genuinely surprised how many people were getting torn apart or sliced into chunks as it went along, even if they were cyborgs.

The motorball stuff feels a little shoehorned in because it is, basically. Motorball doesn't feature in the anime at all, which covers almost the exact same ground as the film and ends at a very similar point in the story. Other things yet to feature by that point were the character of Nova or any mention of Alita's backstory, though they may have cropped up in the manga. I can understand bringing those elements in though, even with the weird pacing issues it allows for some cracking setpieces and sets up some momentum for a sequel. The anime ends on a very down note indeed, which would never fly for a major studio blockbuster.

The main change I wasn't so keen on was the showdown with Vector. In the anime he's confronted by Ido, which obviously makes for a much more emotionally charged scene when he discovers what happened to Chiren, after which he straight up murders him with that rocket hammer. It's not all for the worse though, as the ending with Nova monologuing without a care while his puppet bleeds out was a wonderfully bleak touch. Wasn't super keen on the way they went with Hugo, but it wasn't terrible either. They did remove a lot of his backstory, which makes him seem a lot less sympathetic. In the anime his older brother had a dream to fly them both to Zarem in a balloon he was building, only to get sold out and murdered in front of a young Hugo's eyes. He was so dedicated to getting there partly because he wanted to fulfill his brother's dream, which feels a lot less sketchy than jacking cyborgs just because he wants to live in luxury.

It's kind of a strange one. It's clunky as fuck in places and there's some absolutely shocking dialogue here and there, but there's more than enough of the original spark there to make it work for me. I have very little tolerance for CGI-heavy action these days but I was surprised how well they pulled it off. Not sure how it'll hold up on repeat viewings but I'll definitely be watching again.

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2019, 09:45:59 AM »
Latest box-office news has it projected to pull a decent $400M+ after overseas business is factored in, which is probably just past the break-even point for such a heavily-promoted film like this but still far from the flop some people were expecting. Doing huge business in China, major hit in South Korea, only just opening in Japan. Looks like it's going to do alright if not amazing.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2019/02/23/box-office-alita-battle-angel-rosa-salazar-james-cameron-robert-rodriguez-china-wonder-woman-terminator/

St_Eddie

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2019, 11:43:46 AM »
Latest box-office news has it projected to pull a decent $400M+ after overseas business is factored in, which is probably just past the break-even point for such a heavily-promoted film like this but still far from the flop some people were expecting. Doing huge business in China, major hit in South Korea, only just opening in Japan. Looks like it's going to do alright if not amazing.

I guarantee that $400 million is not the break-even point for Alita: Battle Angel, considering that the budget was $200 million.  You have to factor in not only the advertising budget, but also the cinema chains that take their cut of the profits and you also have to consider that American studios take an even lower percentage from foreign box office receipts (which is why domestic takings are the most important to studios).  Conventional wisdom for a tent pole release (x2.5-x3 the budget) dictates that the movie will have to make somewhere in the region of at least $500 million to break-even and that's a conservative estimate.

mothman

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2019, 03:37:18 PM »
That can’t make any economic sense. That would mean that any $200m movie that does manage to pass the half-billion mark is basically seeing its profits going to make up shortfalls from those - and there are plenty - which don’t..?

This list has all $200m+ films listed, but no profits...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_films#Films

Here we have the biggest bombs...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biggest_box-office_bombs#Biggest_box_office_bombs

And here the highest-grossing films. Anybody got good Excel-fu and can put these together?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films#Highest-grossing_films

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2019, 04:09:35 PM »
I agree. If a 200 million dollar film needed to make 600 dollars to make a profit, they'd stop making 200 million dollar films. That's an enormous financial risk

Kelvin

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2019, 04:45:38 PM »
It is a huge financial risk, hence why they make a so many sequels and follow trends and focus group everything.

Obviously when it works out, the returns are much, much bigger, though. 

Mister Six

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2019, 05:54:27 PM »
I didn't quite get Chiren's fate. Obviously horrendous in theory, but the main character is also basically a brain. Couldn't Ido just build her a robot body? If Mahershala Ali had immediately sent her off to Nova after that reveal, it would have worked. Instead I was just left wondering what happened to her. Presumably Alita didn't just leave her there in a suitcase?

I guarantee that $400 million is not the break-even point for Alita: Battle Angel, considering that the budget was $200 million. 

Well the net budget was $170 million, so it could be on the brink of breaking even.

Alita comes across as a passion project for Cameron, so as long as it does reasonably well (and having made $400 mil so far, it's already out of bomb territory) he might be able to make something happen.

Here's a relatively chipper take from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2019/02/24/alita-battle-angel-box-office-china-rosa-salazar-james-cameron-robert-rodriguez-fox-avatar/#5e906e737a02

Quote
Unless it rallies hard next weekend, $100 million [US domestic take] is a pipedream. At a glance, it’s probably looking like an $85m-$90m domestic finish. That’s about on par, give-or-take inflation, with Walt Disney’s The Lone Ranger ($88m in 2013), Disney’s John Carter ($72m in 2012) and Paramount/Viacom’s Terminator: Genisys ($90m in 2015). That’ll be better than the $40m-$50m finishes of STX’s Valerian, Universal/Comcast’s Warcraft and Warner Bros.’ Jupiter Ascending, but that’s not exactly a high bar to clear.

So if it plays like the King Kong prequel or like the Jack Sparrow sequel, we may be looking at a $149 million-$165m cume in China. That would mean around $250m global plus whatever it makes outside of North America and China. Presuming an over/under $200m overseas cume (Maze Runner, Terminator: Genisys and Ready Player One earned $220m-$238m overseas without China) outside of those two key markets, then we’re indeed looking at a slightly face-saving $450m global cume. That may not make it a hit (Fox will only get around 25% of the ticket sales from China), but it’s a decent run for a new-to-cinema mega-budget franchise title.

The other scenario is one where it plays essentially best-case-scenario in the rest of the world. Think $90 million in North America, $200m in China and $220m overseas elsewhere, for a $510m global cume. If that happens, and that’s a big “if,” then Alita: Battle Angel will be the first non-Chinese movie to top $500m worldwide without earing at least $100m in North America. Again, this doesn’t mean that the movie is a giant hit or that Fox (or Disney) will greenlight a bunch of sequels, but it’ll certainly be a nice change-of-pace from what we’ve seen in the realm of big-budget fantasy in a post-Avatar (and post-Iron Man) world.

The article concludes by saying that it's too early to tell how things will go, but that Alita 2 would depend heavily on the success of Avatar 2 next year.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 06:07:26 PM by Mister Six »

St_Eddie

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2019, 09:19:26 PM »
Cor blimey, I know of what I speak, folks.  You might not be able to comprehend how that could possibly make sense, given how batshit Hollywood economics are but that doesn't make it so.  Trust me, please.  I've done my research.  I know what of that of which I speak.

mothman

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2019, 11:20:39 PM »
Well, it’s evidently working for them, but our point is, we don’t see how it actually *can* be working for them.

St_Eddie

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2019, 12:32:59 AM »
It's not working for them.  Atila: Battle Angel is destined to underperform.  That's not a reflection on the quality of the movie itself (which I haven't seen) but rather, a fact based in reality and more to the point, a knowledge of Hollywood economics.

mothman

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2019, 09:54:17 AM »
But that brings us right back where we started: how can their business model be making $200m movies that have to make $500m to be profitable, when significant numbers of them aren’t because they don’t, but occasionally one or two a year make $1b, so that’s OK?

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2019, 10:16:24 AM »
If someone were to use an algorithm to make the precise opposite of a film I would like to go and see, it would be Alita: Battle Angel. I don't like to judge things til I've seen them but I am absolutely sure I won't enjoy this film

Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2019, 10:42:32 AM »
If someone were to use an algorithm to make the precise opposite of a film I would like to go and see, it would be Alita: Battle Angel. I don't like to judge things til I've seen them but I am absolutely sure I won't enjoy this film

We can use this information to reverse-engineer Clownbaby's ideal film.

I suppose it stars a human boy with small eyes.

mothman

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2019, 10:47:54 AM »
... who runs away from a tyrannical female non-scientist (played by Christoph Waltz, unless anyone can suggest the opposite of him?)...

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Re: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2019, 11:48:27 AM »
(played by Christoph Waltz, unless anyone can suggest the opposite of him?)...

Tilda Swinton?