Stephen Vaughan/ALCON ENTERTAINMENT
Backed by glowing reviews and an A- CinemaScore, Blade Runner 2049 was poised to best the box office during its opening weekend. While it’s still looking to come out on top, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 original is falling far below the initial predictions.
Early estimates pegged the film to reach the $45-$55 million range by Sunday, but Warner Bros. now reports earnings of $12.7 million from Friday night screenings over 4,058 theaters across the country — that includes the $4 million gross from Thursday night showings. This puts its new estimated weekend total around $36-$38 million. It’s not a death sentence, but it’s not a good start for a production that reportedly cost upward of $150 million to make.
Alien: Covenant, Scott’s attempt to continue another of his franchises, earned a similar amount from its opening weekend ($36.2 million) before crashing at the box office.
In Blade Runner 2049‘s defense, the original Blade Runner wasn’t a success right off the bat. After a mixed initial reception, it would be a slow burn before the film grew in notoriety, propelled by the Final Cut version of the film released by Scott and the on-going replicant mystery of Rick Deckard. Though, it already seems as though moviegoers aren’t as enthused as critics are about a nearly three-hour revival of a sci-fi classic.
The sequel stars Ryan Gosling as K, a Blade Runner in Los Angeles 30 years after the events of the first film. Uncovering a secret with catastrophic implications, he goes in search of Harrison Ford’s Rick. Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) directed Blade Runner 2049 with a cast that includes Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Mackenzie Davis, and Ana de Armas.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is releasing Blade Runner 2049 overseas, where the film is projected to earn between $48-$50 million from its foreign markets.