Blade Runner 2049 falls short during opening weekend

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Blade Runner 2049 received rave reviews from critics with Flickreel even awarding it a five star rating. Alas, this didn’t give the big budget sequel the boost it needed at the box office.

According to Box Office Mojo, the long-awaited followup to the 1982 classic only made an estimated $31.5 million. After making $4 million from its Thursday night previews, Blade Runner 2049 seemed poised to make somewhere around $50 million domestically. Overseas, the film did gross an estimated $50.2 million, bringing its current total to just over $80 million worldwide. With a budget of $150 million, though, it’s hard to view these results as anything but a disappointment.

Fans waited almost 30 years, but nobody showed up. What happened?

On one hand, this isn’t entirely surprising. The original Blade Runner wasn’t a financial success, only making $32.87 during its lifetime at the box office. While it’s viewed as a classic today, the film has never quite had the widespread mainstream appeal of something like Star Wars. It also probably didn’t help that Blade Runner 2049 has a run time of almost three hours, which might’ve alienated some viewers and prevented theaters from showing more screenings.

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The numbers for Blade Runner 2049 further tie into our comparison to Mad Max: Fury Road, which did well at the box office, but didn’t become a moneymaking juggernaut despite incredible reviews. Of course Fury Road also had a bigger opening, making $45.43 million. Where Fury Road only opened at #2, though, Blade Runner 2049 was #1 this weekend.

Blade Runner 2049 managed to thwart off this weekend’s other new releases, The Mountain Between Us, which opened at #2 with an estimated $10.1 million, and My Little Pony: The Movie, which opened at #4 with an estimated $8.8 million. Meanwhile, Kingsman: The Golden Circle dropped to #5 with $8.1 million and It dropped to #3 with $9.65 million. Having now crossed the $300 mark domestically, It is one of the few films that’s packing theaters lately, keeping the magic of cinema alive.

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About Nick Spake

Nick Spake has been working as an entertainment writer for the past ten years, but he's been a lover of film ever since seeing the opening sequence of The Lion King. Movies are more than just escapism to Nick, they're a crucial part of our society that shape who we are. He now serves as the Features Editor at Flickreel and author of its regular column, 'Nick Flicks'.

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