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‘Blade Runner 2049’ Makes Slight Gain With $32.8 Million Opening Weekend

Blade Runner 2049” finished its underwhelming opening weekend with a bit of good news, bringing in $32.8 million at 4,058 sites in North America, thanks to a better-than-projected performance on Sunday.

The studio’s Sunday estimate was $7.4 million, but the film wound up at $8.9 million in one of the few bright spots for the “Blade Runner 2049” box office performance. The final three-day total fell far short of expectations, which had been in the $45 million to $50 million range at the start of the weekend amid stellar reviews, strong advance ticket sales, the star power of Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, and the status of 1982’s original “Blade Runner.”

Instead, the movie’s earnings fell short due to a lengthy 163-minute running time, less traction among younger moviegoers than anticipated, and shortfalls in the Midwest, South and smaller markets. A Warner Bros. executive said he remained optimistic about the future performance of “Blade Runner 2049,” pointing to the overall A- CinemaScore and strong word of mouth.

Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution on “Blade Runner 2049” through its output deal with Alcon Entertainment. Financed by Alcon and Sony and laden with special effects, the film carries a $150 million price tag. Sony is handling foreign distribution and saw the opening weekend top $50 million.

“Blade Runner 2049” may repeat as a weekend winner against two new films opening in wide release this weekend — STXfilms’ Jackie Chan action-drama “The Foreigner” and Universal-Blumhouse’s horror entry “Happy Death Day.” “Blade Runner” has an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes while “The Foreigner” has 80%.

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