Blade Runner 2049 gets off to a solid start at the box office after grossing $4 million in Thursday night preview screenings. Like most attempts to follow-up cult classic films, the initial prospect of a Blade Runner sequel was met trepidatiously by fans. However, as trailers began to tease the moody and atmospheric sequel from director Denis Villeneuve, the general outlook towards Blade Runner 2049 began to improve. That might be an understatement at this stage, seeing as reviews for the film have so far been glowing.

Blade Runner 2049 is currently Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% approval rating from critics. Once fans pour into the theaters and see it this weekend, word of mouth could further boost the movie’s profile. While the film still has a ways to go before it becomes a profitable venture for Warner Bros. Pictures, it’s certainly gotten its box office run started on the right foot.

Related: Does Blade Runner 2049 Have a Post-Credits Scene?

The Wrap is confirming that Blade Runner 2049 earned $4 million in its Thursday night preview screenings in North America, $800K of which came from IMAX screenings of the film. Though the movie has a whopping $185M production budget to cover, the early numbers put it on track to potentially recoup those costs down the line.

Blade Runner 2049 Harrison Ford Blade Runner 2049 Tops the Box Office in Thursday Evening Debut

Estimates are pegging the movie to hit $100M globally this weekend, with $45M coming from the domestic box office. These latest numbers, however, hint that the movie will do even better than that. The Thursday numbers put the film on par with similar movies such as Alien: Covenant ($4.2M) and Mad Max: Fury Road ($3.7M). Both of those films went on to have opening weekends in the $40M range, but Blade Runner has the benefit of being an October release.

With no other major films opening this weekend and previous blockbusters well into their run, Blade Runner 2049 should perform well over the next few days. Currently, sci-fi films Gravity and The Martian hold the top two spots for October openings, with $55.7M and $54M respectively. Both of those films, however, posted smaller figures in Thursday previews, with Gravity earning $1.4M and The Martian grossing $2.7M. Obviously, those numbers don’t translate to proportionately larger openings, but the positive buzz behind Blade Runner and its strong early showing could propel it to exceed expectations

Regardless of what happens, Blade Runner 2049 is already a successful follow-up to a cult classic in some respects. For WB, it has the potential to be both another hit that leads to more installments in the franchise down the line. There’s no word yet on whether or not they are already plans in place to make Blade Runner 3, but it certainly feels like a real possibility at this stage.

NEXT: Blade Runner 2049’s Ending Explained

Source: The Wrap

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