Excellent reviews don't stop Blade Runner 2049 from bombing at the box office

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Based on the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, 1982’s Blade Runner is one of those movies beloved by many tech fans. Ever since news arrived that a sequel was in development, there has been trepidation that it might not live up to the original. Thankfully, Blade Runner 2049 has received critical praise and five-star reviews, which makes its failure at the box office all the stranger.

With a budget of over $155 million, it was expected that the Harrison Ford/Ryan Gosling sci-fi drama would be as popular among audiences as it has been with critics — its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 89 percent — but weekend forecasts have been falling since Friday. It had been expected to bring in $45 million, which itself would have been slightly disappointing, but yesterday that was lowered to $31.3 million.

According to Forbes, Blade Runner 2049 had earned just $12.7 million on Friday, including $4 million in Thursday previews alone. It also estimates that the movie will have a $32 million debut weekend, which is worse than original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, which has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 70 percent.

“Industry expectations are for a $100 million debut globally, with approximately 50 percent of that coming from the domestic opening as industry forecasts range from $45-55 million,” reported Box Office Mojo. That now looks wildly optimistic: Blade Runner 2049 might not even make $100 million during its entire theatrical run. By comparison, Stephen King horror remake IT, which had a budget of $35 million, has brought in over $300 million at the box office so far.

So, why aren’t more people going to see a movie that some have called a “masterpiece?” A few factors have been put forward: the R-rating limits its audience (though IT has the same rating); not giving away much in the trailers hasn't helped draw in many of today’s crowds; and some people just refuse to watch any cerebral movie that goes on for nearly three hours, no matter how good its reviews are.

While the original Blade Runner is considered one of the most brilliant and influential science fiction titles of all time, it also bombed at the box office, bringing in just $32.8 million before going on to become a cult classic. It seems a lot more people understand its importance in the genre compared to those who have actually seen the movie, which could be another reason why the sequel isn’t doing as well as expected - many reviews point out that it helps to have watched the original.

Ultimately, the news is quite a disappointment for Blade Runner fans, but the overseas market could help the situation. Personally, I can’t wait to watch it.

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davislane1

So, why aren’t more people going to see a movie that some have called a “masterpiece?” A few factors have been put forward: the R-rating limits its audience (though IT has the same rating); not giving away much in the trailers hasn't helped draw in many of today’s crowds; and some people just refuse to watch any cerebral movie that goes on for nearly three hours, no matter how good its reviews are.

Here's the real reason it's not doing well.

1. Reviews don't matter as much as people think they do.
2. The premise and setting are not interesting to most moviegoers.

That's it.

They jumped through the same hoops when Mother! bombed last month.
 

McMurdeR

TS Addict
For starters people don't trust cinema reviews.

Much as I like the premise of the Blade Runner universe, the original was overrated - a good film, a bit ponderous, and an anticlimactic ending. 2049 is a very similar affair - fans of the original will love it, however it could easily have dropped a half hour on the editors cutting floor and we still would have had the exact same movie.
 

FF222

TS Maniac
Blade Runner 2049 is a rather "meh" film. It brings the visuals and the sound of the original, but lacks any new ideas worth mentioning. That said, it was the best film I've seen in the last 10 years. And *that* is the real problem with today's cinema.
 
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I loved the movie, it was incredible! I was in fact going to see it the second time, in IMAX 3D, but didn't make it in the end. Anybody seen it in IMAX 3D - is it any better than a regular flat screen?
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Blade Runner 2049 is a rather "meh" film. It brings the visuals and the sound of the original, but lacks any new ideas worth mentioning. That said, it was the best film I've seen in the last 10 years. And *that* is the real problem with today's cinema.
I truly feel sorry for everyone that passes such criticism for all the movies of the last decade. I don't know if they need more time to see more movies, or if they simply need to stop being such a *******.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Blade Runner 2049 is a rather "meh" film. It brings the visuals and the sound of the original, but lacks any new ideas worth mentioning. That said, it was the best film I've seen in the last 10 years. And *that* is the real problem with today's cinema.
You need to watch more good movies then.

On a more serious note, it should do much better in China and Europe and it will make a ton of $$ from disc sales and streaming revenue. I can see this being something that people will watch at home.
 

D3z4R1

TS Enthusiast
I loved the original. I liked this sequel. My only real gripe is the turtle’s pace in the beginning.

I especially appreciate how they kept much of the visuals and soundtrack of the original (queue 80’s electronica nostalgia). You definitely need to watch the original to appreciate the sequel.
 

dirtyferret

TS Evangelist
Kind of hard for the wife and I to see movies with two little ones. When we get out we prefer going out to dinner. That said this one is definitely on my must rent list.
 

techseven

TS Enthusiast
This sequel is too artistic, dark and slow to be a mainstream hit, but I loved it.

I recommend seeing it at the cinema, the music is maybe the most dramatic I have ever heard in a movie (electronic/ambient), sometimes borderline amusing, like the world is going to end in every other scene. But even it's over the top, I loved it.

If you are the patient type and maybe tired of stereotypical Hollywood-movies, go see it...
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
I watched about 20 minutes of the original on cable "back in the day"...didn't care for it.
Plus, I think it is more about a "return" role for Harrison Ford than anything else. 150+ million
budget? Bet 1/2 of that was what he got. Grandpa needs to retire.
Problem with HollyWEID is they haven't had an original idea in decades. All they know how to do is
release part 4,5,6 movies, or "reboots".
 

Steed

TS Booster
The problem is that Bladerunner is mentally thought provoking, and the average American is not clever enough to appreciate it. Forcing them to think is a painful excercise for both parties. Its sad but its also true.
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
Box office mojo has total box office from the opening weekend at 82 million 32 domestic, 50 foreign. The movie made back 50% of it's budget in 3 days everyone can calm down. Compared to some of the releases this summer this can't be considered a flop at all, but nice click bait....
 

Solar Flair

TS Enthusiast
In the past few years, the movies I like tend to have low score while the movies a found boring tend to have high score. That is why I don't care about review scores and I will not go to watch a movie based on the score of reviews. I think many people are like me. If found the trailer of a movie not attractive, will skip the movie even if they have great reviews.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
For starters people don't trust cinema reviews....[ ].....
The late Roger Ebert's reviews, were always instrumental in dissuading me from seeing a movie to which he had attached a five star review. Most of them were one room family dramas, consisting of nothing more than an hour and a half of nothing but a protracted argument. Although, I seriously doubt if he would have given this "Blade Runner" sequel even three stars, despite how truly cerebral the film is.

Everything about the original "Blade Runner", was depressing, from the story premise, to the foggy, smog ridden, matte paintings. I doubt the story lends itself to today's excess of simply pointlessly blowing sh!t up. So, depressing landscapes, tragically broken people and androids, and a dearth of flash powder, equals a certain lack of interest at the box office

"Guardians of the Galaxy 2", is/was a turd, from It's completely overblown storyline, to it's completely overblown-up, FX. Yet I assume, it did very well for itself.

Then there's Steven King, the biggest horror hack writer on the planet, bar none. I wouldn't even so much as rent any of his crap, let alone buy it, or go to the theater to watch it.

Then there's "Imax", if the footage wasn't actually captured on full Imax equipment, the presentation and perspective will likely be horrific, appearing as though it was projected through a cheap full frame fish eye lens. Heads at the corners of the frame are usually egg shaped, perhaps even out of focus. I saw one of the "Transformers" sequels in "Imax" and vowed to never piss away money on an Imax theater ticket again.

Anyhoo, certain films from the same general time frame as the original,"Blade Runner", are timeless classics as well. "Network", and "A Clockwork Orange", are certainly not to be missed, if not watched several times. Another "classic" which springs to mind was Roger Vadim's "Barbarella', a very, very soft porn space comedy(?) starring a devastatingly beautiful 20 year old Jane Fonda, who gets at least 3 thumbs up from me alone! ;)

Not to mention this is the pre-women's liberation, pre- "Hanoi Jane" version of Miss Fonda, who happily vamped her way through the galaxy, dressed in not much more than, "space lingerie..".(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)
 
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