Blade Runner 2049 set for 'disappointing' US box office opening weekend

The Denis Villeneueve sequel has received overwhelming praise from critics

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Saturday 07 October 2017 12:49
Blade Runner 2049 - Trailer

Despite rave reviews, Blade Runner 2049 is struggling in its opening weekend at the US box office after opening at over 4,000 sites.

The long-awaited follow-up to Ridley Scott's seminal 1982 classic has projected weekend takings of $36.5m (£27.9m), a shock when considering the critical adoration heaped upon the new Denis Villeneuve film.

According to Deadline, it's looking like the sequel may struggle to reach its budget of $155m (£118.6m) by the end of its domestic theatrical run although Variety reports that comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian believes the initial takings signal "longterm playability for the film."

It's not been the most successful year for Blade Runner 2049 producer Ridley Scott whose previous attempt to revisit one of his old franchises - Alien: Covenant - also failed to set the box office alight earlier this year.

There are a few reasons as to why the visually-breathtaking Blade Runner 2049 - which sees Harrison Ford return as character Deckard - isn't landing with audiences right away. Firstly, it almost seems as if the film is an awards contender parading as a blockbuster - while Scott's original is revered as a classic today, it was considered a box office bomb in 1982. The same fate could be set for Villeneuve who has no doubt crafted a jaw-dropping piece of work alongside cinematographer Roger Deakins.

It's also important to point out that while Villeneuve is hailed by critics as one of the most exciting directors around, his best box office opening to date was 2016 film Arrival which amassed $24m (£18mm). The film's lead Ryan Gosling may be a popular screen presence, but his most successful box office opening was - somewhat surprisingly - Crazy Stupid Love ($19.1m - £14.7m).

Considering these facts, Blade Runner 2049 is a peak for them both.

Film fans may also be turned off by the film's extended 163-minute running time which has inadvertently decreased the number of screens the film can be shown in.

Meanwhile, Andy Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King novel It has continued to do big business shooting past both The Exorcist and The Sixth Sense to become the highest-grossing horror film of all time pre-adjusted for inflation. Budgeted at $35m (£26.7m), the film is set to gross almost nine times that with a US box office total of $304.6m (£233m).

Still, it remains to be seen how Blade Runner 2049 performs around the rest of the globe but there's no doubt those who do see the revival will be grateful they did.

Find a rundown of the 2017-18 Oscar Best Picture contenders here.

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