Blade Runner 2049 disappoints with $31.5 million opening
The future isn’t looking all that bright for Blade Runner 2049‘s box office prospects. The long-awaited, highly anticipated sci-fi sequel is on track to gross an estimated $31.5 million in the U.S. and Canada during its opening weekend, surpassing its competition but falling considerably short of industry projections, which had put it in the $45 million-$55 million range.
Heading into the weekend, 2049 appeared to have the makings of a hit, including glowing reviews, strong advance ticket sales, a starry cast led by Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, a name director in Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario), and the blessing of original Blade Runner filmmaker Ridley Scott (on board this time as executive producer).
Those who did turn out for the film this weekend skewed male (71%) and older (63% over 35, 86% over 25), and gave it a solid A-minus CinemaScore. But while $31.5 million represents a career high opening for both Villeneuve and Gosling, it’s a disappointing start for a production that reportedly cost upward of $150 million to make. The figure calls to mind Scott’s Alien: Covenant — another attempt at re-invigorating a beloved sci-fi property — which opened to $36.2 million and ultimately crashed at the box office.
2049 was produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Warner Bros. domestically, with Sony handling international distribution. The film looks to add an estimated $50.2 million from overseas markets this weekend.
The original Blade Runner, released in 1982, was not embraced by critics or audiences at first. But appreciation for the cerebral, slow-burning, and visually striking film — which starred Ford as a jaded cop hunting down androids in dystopian Los Angeles — has grown over the years, and it has become enormously influential across pop culture. Time will tell whether 2049 can find more immediate success.
Coming in a distant second behind Blade Runner 2049 is Fox’s survival romance The Mountain Between Us, with an estimated $10.1 million. The new release, which stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as two strangers stranded by a plane crash in the snowy Utah wilderness, received mixed reviews and an A-minus CinemaScore.
The weekend’s other major newcomer, Lionsgate’s animated movie My Little Pony: The Movie, is in line for the No. 4 spot with an estimated $8.8 million. Based on the Hasbro franchise and featuring the voices of Liev Schreiber, Michael Pena, Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Taye Diggs, and Zoe Saldana, My Little Pony also garnered an A-minus CinemaScore and mixed reviews.
Rounding out the top five are Warner Bros. and New Line’s horror hit It, in third place with an estimated $9.7 million, and Fox’s spy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, with an estimated $8.1 million.
According to ComScore, overall box office is down 4.8 percent year-to-date. Check out the Oct. 6-8 figures below.
1. Blade Runner 2049 — $31.5 million
2. The Mountain Between Us — $10.1 million
3. It — $9.7 million
4. My Little Pony: The Movie — $8.8 million
5. Kingsman: The Golden Circle — $8.1 million
6. American Made — $8 million
7. The Lego Ninjago Movie — $6.8 million
8. Victoria and Abdul — $4.1 million
9. Flatliners — $3.8 million
10. Battle of the Sexes— $2.4 million