After all the hype, all the mystery and after receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from critics (who currently have the film at an 89% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes), some assumed that Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 would easily dominate the box office this weekend. Indeed, projections had the film earning something like $40-45M...a less-than-stellar figure, perhaps, but not a worst-case scenario. And besides, maybe word of mouth would give the film legs.
Well, the good news is that word of mouth is strong, and may yet give Villeneuve's film those legs. The bad news is, Blade Runner 2049 looks to be coming in well below that $40M projection, leaving the film with an even bigger hill to climb.
Maybe they waited too long to make a sequel. Maybe it's the nearly three-hour runtime. Maybe it was the marketing campaign, which played coy with what kind of story Blade Runner 2049 would be telling. Maybe the truth of the matter is that Blade Runner, as a property, has always been a niche thing, and was never gonna deliver a $100M opening weekend. However you want to look at it, the bottom line is this: people aren't showing up for Blade Runner 2049.
As of right now, Villeneuve's sequel looks to have earned about $31M in its opening weekend. With a "break even" point reportedly as high as $400M, that's not a great start. Again, word of mouth is strong - in addition to the largely-positive critical reaction, general audiences gave Blade Runner 2049 an overall A- Cinemascore - but this movie's got a long way to go before it can be considered anything less than a bomb.
Anyway, we'll examine all of this again in 2047, when Blade Runner 2079 arrives.
In other news, Andy Muschietti's IT finally crossed the $300M mark at the box office, with a new total of roughly $304M. At this point, we've said just about all there is to say about IT's massive success ("This'll launch a new era of big-budget King adaptations!", "IT is the biggest horror movie of all time!", "Holy shit, did this thing overperform!"), so I've not got much to add here. My guess is we'll see this one on Blu-ray in time for Christmas, where it'll become one of this year's biggest stocking stuffers. Bring on IT: Chapter Two!
And, finally, 20th Century Fox's The Mountain Between Us landed in second place this weekend with roughly $10M. It stars Kate Winslet and Idris Elba as two folks who get stranded in the mountains together or something, apparently cuddling ensues. Like many of you, I am definitely interested in seeing this one, but will likely keep putting it off until it's left theaters, only to end up being delighted when I see it pop up for rental on Amazon a few months from now.
That's what Hollywood did with its weekend, what'd you folks do with yours? I caught Nicolas Roeg's The Witches at the Drafthouse yesterday (first time seeing that in a theater since its release in...1990? Holy Christ, am I old), and today I'm throwing a barbecue and hosting a screening of Session 9 in my living room, because my life is dope and I do dope shit. Tell us about the baller moves you made this weekend in the comments below.