According to media-measurement firm conScore and its PreAct Service, buzz for Blade Runner 2049 was very strong last week, topping all new social media conversations in the movies category. Moments after its press embargo was lifted, positive reviews started to fuel fans’ interest, resulting in an estimated 83,000 new conversations regarding the sci-fi sequel to the 1982 Ridley Scott classic. Critics have conceded director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) to have made a film worthy of its successor.
The only other new release to make the top talked-about movies measured was My Little Pony: The Movie, with a much lower tally of new conversations. Other buzzed about films have release dates a little farther into the future, including (not surprisingly) Thor: Ragnorak and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The Blade Runner 2049 buzz this week continues, largely in part to a healthy, targeted campaign from studio Warner Bros. Amusingly, film fiend/comedian Patton Oswalt gave his enthusiastic approval on Twitter to Blade Runner 2049, My Little Pony, and the indie darling The Florida Project.
Most major film critics have reviewed Blade Runner 2049, and it currently holds a 94 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this posting. Warner Bros. has confidently used quotes from many of the early reviews in on-air and online spots. Currently holding the top spot at the box-office for four weeks in a row with It, the studio had early forecasts with a projected domestic launch of at least $40 million, according to Variety. Warners might break their own winning streak with Blade Runner 2049 this coming weekend, or at the very least have both the first and second biggest grossers. That’s impressive considering both films are rated R by the MPAA.
Even more impressive, and reason enough to consider the new film a reboot as much as a sequel, Blade Runner 2049 will probably land a more lucrative opening weekend gross than its 1982 original. Much of the online buzz has debated and discussed the lasting impact of the original on modern sci-fi movies, not to mention outlined the long saga of its acceptance as a cult film. Of course, there’s the issue of which version you’re referring to.
Harrison Ford, who reprises his role of Blade Runner Rick Deckard, caused conversation amongst fans of the original by declaring at a Los Angeles press conference in the past week that he prefers the 2007 “Final Cut.” Boosting social buzz with his 2.2 million followers on Twitter alone was co-star Ryan Gosling, who retweeted EW’s recap of reviews claiming Blade Runner 2019 to be “mind-blowing” and “groundbreaking.”
All signs point to big domestic box-office for the nearly three-hour film, which will be boosted by audience’s choice of 2D, 3D or IMAX presentations. Internationally, Blade Runner 2049 being distributed by Sony, who could use a fourth quarter boost after last weekend’s dismal return on Flatliners.
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