×

Box Office: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Dominates but Falls Short of Forecasts

Blade Runner 2049” is dominating the domestic box office, but coming in under forecasts with a $36 million opening weekend at 4,058 North American sites, estimates showed Saturday.

The sci-fi sequel had been pegged this week to launch between $45 million and $50 million — similar to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which debuted to $45 million. Reviews are stellar with an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and moviegoers gave “Blade Runner 2049” an A- CinemaScore.

But the film only grossed $12.7 million on Friday, including $4 million from Thursday night previews. The move’s lengthy 163-minute run time cuts down the number of showings each day and may have dampened interest — particularly among younger moviegoers.

Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution on “Blade Runner 2049,” starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, through its output deal with Alcon Entertainment. The follow-up to 1982’s “Blade Runner,” directed by Denis Villeneuve and laden with special effects, carries a $150 million price tag. It’s set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2049, with Gosling starring as an LAPD officer dealing with replicants seeking freedom.

Sony is handling international distribution, with most markets opening this weekend. The studio issued a forecast Friday projecting a launch weekend in the $48 million to $52 million range.

The original “Blade Runner,” directed by Ridley Scott and starring Ford, was not a box office success — with a $32.9 million domestic lifetime total — but grew in stature and influence over the years.

Lionsgate’s animated “My Little Pony” was runner-up in its debut weekend with more than $10 million estimated at 2,528 locations, slightly above forecasts. Based on the Hasbro toys and TV series, the movie’s voice cast includes Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Uzo Aduba, and Sia.

Fox’s opening of survival drama “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, is coming in close behind, but somewhat below projections with $10 million at 3,088 venues. Based on the Charles Martin novel, the film stars Elba as a surgeon and Winslet as a journalist who are left stranded together following a plane crash. Reviews have been mixed, earning the film a 46% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The fifth weekend of New Line’s blockbuster “It” may contend for third place with $9.4 million at 3,197 sites. It will close the weekend with more than $300 million.

The second weekend of Tom Cruise’s “American Made” and third frame of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” were also heading for about $8 million each. Warner Animation’s “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” also in its third weekend, is aiming for an estimated $6.5 million. Focus Features’ expansion of historical drama “Victoria & Abdul” was performing respectably with a projected $4.1 million at 655 sites.

The October record for best domestic opening weekend was set four years ago by “Gravity” with $55.8 million, followed by 2015’s “The Martian” with $54.3 million.

More Film

  • 'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office

    'The Lion King' Ruling Box Office With Dazzling Debut at $180 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” has jolted the North American box office back to life with an opening weekend in the $180 million range, estimates showed Saturday. “The Lion King” will record the second-best opening of 2019 — and could replace “Incredibles 2,” which launched last year with $182.7 million, as the ninth biggest North American [...]

  • 'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in

    'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in Hospital After Stabbing

    Hugely popular Hong Kong actor, Simon Yam was stabbed while on stage Saturday at a presentation in Zhongshan, Guangdong province in southern China. He is in hospital recovering. The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest. A man was seen rushing on [...]

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]

  • TSOM-MASK

    Director Sara Gouveia on ‘Looking At Resilience Through Art’

    DURBAN–The Mapiko dance of Mozambique’s indigenous Makonde people was long used as a tool for social commentary. But during the colonial era it became an act of political resistance, prompting the Portuguese to stamp it out during Mozambique’s 10-year war for independence. Decades later, the art has been revived as a celebration of freedom. For [...]

  • Don Edkins

    Documentary Filmmaker Don Edkins on ‘Creating an African Voice’ 

    DURBAN–For the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, a new strand was created to look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing documentary filmmakers in Africa. The two-day program, Durban Does Docs, offers a series of conversations, seminars and workshops with an intensive focus on the aesthetics, funding, distribution [...]

  • A Faithful Man

    Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

    French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-cum-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content