How Fans Fight to Save a Franchise: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Is the Latest Battleground

“High awareness and high conversation don’t always translate to big box office,” media analyst Paul Dergarabedian says

When the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences recently asked its social media followers what film demands watching on the big screen, an overwhelming response flooded the organization’s Twitter feed for one unexpected movie — “Alita: Battle Angel.”

The effects-heavy sci-fi flick from director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron received middling reviews and a tepid domestic box office when it was released in February — $85.7 million on a $170 million production budget, according to BoxOfficeMojo — but it has grown a fervent following that appears emboldened by other recent fan efforts to save struggling TV shows and franchises. 

As fandoms become more vocal and active, how do studios balance those passions with the realities of box-office returns and TV ratings?

The “Alita Army,” as they call themselves, is the latest example of fans pushing for the continuation of a beloved franchise. Last month, the loyal fan base for Netflix’s canceled sitcom “One Day at a Time” celebrated its success in helping to revive the show for a fourth season on…

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