‘Blade Runner 2049′ Disappoints at the Box Office

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‘Blade Runner 2049′ Disappoints at the Box Office

‘Blade Runner 2049′ Disappoints at the Box Office

Despite an inspiring market push leading up to the new film’s release — itself the follow-up to a beloved sci-fi classic starring Harrison Ford — Blade Runner 2049 released to relatively little fanfare.  Despite being helmed by an increasingly A-list director, Arrival‘s Denis Villeneuve, a pair of high-end actors working at the top of their game, Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, a tie-in anime and a series of beautiful, visually sumptuous trailers, it drastically underperformed at the box office, leading many to question the viability of its planned sequels, let alone the possibility of it so much as earning back what it cost to make.

That budget, by the way, is nothing short of staggering: somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million, making it the second most expensive R-rated film ever made, behind Mad Max: Fury Road.  Added to its distribution and advertising costs, and Blade Runner 2049 would need to gross somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million just to break even: a staggering feet for almost any movie, let alone one with a restrictive rating whose immediate predecessor came out in 1982.

‘Blade Runner 2049′ Disappoints at the Box Office

Although initially expected to make upwards in the neighborhood of $55 million — more than enough to make back its staggering costs over the course of its theatrical run — it acutely underperformed in its opening days, pulling in a considerably more modest $31.5 million.  And while that does come in at just under the original Blade Runner‘s lifetime gross, that movie came out 35 years ago: the same weekend as The Thing and two weeks after E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.  By contrast, its sequel came out the same weekend as My Little Pony: The Movie and a month after It.

The movie isn’t dead in the water by any means, but it is hardly the success that many were predicting it would be, and it will have to over-perform in other territories if it stands any hope of breaking even by the end of its inauspiciously begun theatrical run.  And with the rave reviews it has been getting, you would be hard-pressed to find a better movie to see all year.

Make time for it this weekend, if only so that we can get more movies like it in the future.  

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