The estimated box office numbers for Blade Runner 2049‘s opening weekend have been lowered after the film had a disappointing Friday. The long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with Denis Villeneuve providing audiences with a faithful, expansive continuation.
While it’s a critical hit, it’s still unclear if it will be a financial one. The film cost a whopping $185 million to make, meaning that to break even the film needs to gross over $300 million worldwide (standard Hollywood math says marketing and associated costs essentially doubles the budget). Early predictions were strong, with it suggested the film would open domestically in the $40-$50 million range and a global total of around $100 million; a strong start for a film likely to have legs due to strong reviews and word-of-mouth. However, that’s now looking unlikely.
Blade Runner 2049 reportedly had a lower-than-expected Friday, taking in around $12.7 million (including its $4 million Thursday previews), shifting projections into the mid $30 millions. Variety reports it’s now expected to come in under $36 million, while others suggest even lower.
This is obviously bad news for the film and Warner Bros. Accounting for a similar knock internationally, the film won’t even make back a third of its budget opening weekend. Considering how much of a project’s success or failure hinges on that opening frame, it seems 2049 could be destined to be a bomb.
The film received an A- CinemaScore that suggested it was going to connect more with audiences than the original, which famously bombed in 1982, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why 2049 is looking to come in below expectations is unsure. The marketing has been strong but the fact that it’s a follow-up to a cult film could simply mean there isn’t that big an audience in the first place. That the film runs 163 minutes could also have had an impact, limiting the number of screenings possible (compared to a more modestly lengthened blockbuster). If the latter’s the case, the studio may regret giving Villeneuve the final cut.
There was no stiff competition for Blade Runner at the box office, but the other new films – My Little Pony and The Mountain Between – and several hangovers from previous weeks – IT, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and American Made – are all expected to post near $10 million grosses, which will obviously have chipped away at potential box office. These are, of course, still projections, but the Friday drop definitely suggests a disappointing final total come Monday.
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