Expert analysts were comparing it to Mad Max: Fury Road in terms of opening weekend expectations, what with it being a well reviewed sequel to a decades old classic, but Blade Runner 2049 has opened softer than the $45-50m that was predicted. The Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford follow-up managed to earn an estimated $31m at the US Box Office this weekend.
For a near-three hour cerebral science-fiction epic, that’s a great performance when you put it up against Fury Road, which is a much more accessible property than a theological sequel to an original that has polarised audiences for years. It was always going to struggle with the unconverted, despite the reviews, and as prolific as Denis Villeneuve is, his name alone is not enough to open a movie. The same can be said of Ryan Gosling, who might be one of the most appealing actors working in Hollywood today, but let’s not forget that The Nice Guys was a five-star film that bombed, with his biggest opening 2011’s ensemble comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love. It will now be down to word-of-mouth and repeat business to make Blade Runner 2049 the hit it deserves to be.
What it will hope to avoid is a sophomore slump similar to last week’s eventual champion, American Made, which dropped 51% for a weekend take of $8.073m . It was pointed out last week that only 9% of the Tom Cruise film’s audience was over 25 years old, so it’s safe to assume that demographic was amongst the Blade Runner crowd.
The other notable new released was the Idris Elba and Kate Winslet plane crash survival thriller, The Mountain Between Us, which also underwhelmed with little over $10m. That’s something that cannot be applied to IT, which in its fifth frame crossed the $300m domestic mark, and a staggering worldwide total of $600m+.
Sandwiched between Pennywise and the fast falling Kingsman: The Golden Circle was the final new-release to break the top ten, with My Little Pony: The Movie taking advantage of the dearth of decent kids flicks to gross $8.8m.
The full chart can be found over at Boxofficemojo. Until next week.
Image: Sony Pictures UK/Warner Bros.