February has been an underwhelming month for Hollywood studios at the box office, but Robert Rodriguez is confident that his new movie, "Alita: Battle Angel," will prove the doubters wrong. The director's dismissal of predictions that the film will flop may come from its behind-the-scenes power broker's history: James Cameron, director of the two highest-grossing and visually arresting films of all time — "Titanic" and "Avatar" — is an executive producer for the film.
"People write stuff all the time. The first thing they wrote about Jim's 'Titanic' was negative," Rodriguez said in an interview with CNBC. "Nobody really knows anything. We don't know. What we do know is that the audiences' minds [who have seen the movie early] are blown."
The feature, based on a popular Japanese manga series created by Yukito Kishiro, is set in a dystopian world and centers on a female cyborg-cyberpunk who cannot remember her past. The film has a strong cast, with Alita played by "Parenthood" actress Rosa Salazar in a role that was in development for years — using new computer-generated imagery techniques.
"[Visual-effects house] Weta Digital has been working on that for a number of years," one of the film's producers, Jon Landau, recently told Cnet.com. "[Skin] is something they know is so key to making a CG character look real. They put a lot of research into that."
The Rotten Tomatoes' early scoring from audiences is very high (93 percent), and its overall critics score is at 61 percent on the site.