Disappointing ticket sales for “Blade Runner 2049” are a blow for the companies behind the eagerly anticipated film, and also cast a pall on other movie-industry players. The big-budget, handsomely craftedopened surprisingly weak at the North American box office. According to studio estimates Sunday, “2049” grossed $31.5 million, a poor start for a movie that cost at least $150 million to make. The film did better internationally, taking in $50.2 million in overseas ticket sales over the weekend. Production company Alcon Entertainment split the film’s cost with Sony Pictures, while Warner Bros. is distributing the film in the U.S.
The problem “Blade runner 2049” ran into is clear from opening-weekend data. The audience was overwhelmingly male (71 percent) and over the age of 25 (86 percent). The movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, simply failed to pull in moviegoers beyond fans of the 1982 original. Another factor that may be working against the film — lengthy 163-minute runtime.
“It’s an intellectually charged, apocalyptic sci-fi story. It’s not a ‘Close Encounters,’ it’s not ‘Star Wars.’ It’s a challenging film. To me, those are the best type of films,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “But does it make it the most commercial? No.”