'Blade Runner 2049' Struggles to $31.5 Million Opening Weekend
by Brad Brevet
October 8, 2017
Warner Bros.'s release of Blade Runner 2049 isn't getting October off to the kind of start September saw one month ago. The dystopian sequel, arriving 35 years after the original, crash landed over its three-day opening, falling well below even the most modest of expectations. At the same time, Fox's The Mountain Between Us didn't exactly light the world on fire in its attempt at counter-programming, though it did top Mojo's pre-weekend forecast, while Lionsgate's release of My Little Pony squeaked over Mojo's meager expectations. Meanwhile, Focus's Victoria and Abdul expanded into moderate release and scored solid numbers, and A24's The Florida Project saw strong returns in its limited opening.
With an estimated $31.5 million, Blade Runner 2049 finished atop the weekend box office, but fell well below expectations. Entering the weekend the Warner Bros. release, in association with Alcon Entertainment and Sony, was expected to deliver anywhere from $45-55 million domestically and $4 million from Thursday previews signaled a solid start, but things quickly cooled for the $150 million production.
As we noted in our weekend preview, heading into the weekend Blade Runner 2049 was pacing behind the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Interstellar when looking at IMDb page view comparisons and yet was pacing ahead of Prometheus and was showing positive gains against The Martian and Gravity, both of which debuted with over $54+ million in October. Looking back at our pre-weekend comps, comparisons to films such as Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow may have been more apt. IMDb page view comparisons do show the three films pacing neck-and-neck leading up to release with Blade Runner only taking off once the positive early reviews began publishing online, though it would appear those reviews had little effect on the film's overall performance.
Blade Runner did receive a positive "A-" CinemaScore, but the audience skewed heavily male, playing to an audience that was 71% male vs. 29% female, of which 63% of the total audience was over the age of 35. While these demographic numbers are almost identical to those for Mad Max: Fury Road, they don't bode well for future returns when looked at in conjunction with the $31.5 million debut.
Internationally, Blade Runner met overseas expectations, debuting with an estimated $50.2 million from 63 markets, 61% of its international footprint, capturing the #1 spot in 45 of those markets. The film's opening in the UK led the way with an estimated $8 million, on par with Interstellar and ~15% ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road. In Australia the film brought in an estimated $3.6 million, topping both Interstellar (9%) and Gravity (28%) and in Russia it finished with an estimated $4.9 million, on par with Mad Max: Fury Road. Additional openings include France ($3.6M), Germany ($3.3M), Spain ($2.6M), Italy ($2.5M), Brazil ($1.8M) and Mexico ($1.6M).
Blade Runner will open in South Korea next week followed by an October 27 opening in Japan and a November 10 opening in China.
In second place is Fox's The Mountain Between Us, finishing with an estimated $10.1 million. Starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, the film also received an "A-" CinemaScore and its audience was broken down 58% female vs. 42% male with 81% of the total audience coming in over the age of 25. Internationally, Mountain Between Us brought in $3.6 million from 11 markets for a $13.7 million global debut.
Third place belongs to Warner Bros. and New Line's It, finishing with an estimated $9.65 million, pushing its domestic total to $304.9 million. Additionally, the film added another $19.8 million internationally, taking its overseas total to $298.8 million making it the largest international horror release of all-time and taking its global cume to a massive $603.7 million.
While Friday estimates suggested Lionsgate and Hasbro's My Little Pony may top $10 million, things settled down a bit over Saturday and Sunday resulting in an estimated $8.8 million debut and a fourth place finish. Like Blade Runner and Mountain Between Us, the film received an "A-" CinemaScore and saw an audience breakdown that was 59% female vs. 41% male, of which 51% of the total audience was over the age of 25.
Internationally, My Little Pony debuted in 49 markets and brought in a meager $3.8 million led by an estimated $676,000 in Germany. Upcoming markets include Russia (10/12), France (10/18) and the UK (10/20) over the following weeks.
Rounding out the top five is Fox's Kingsman: The Golden Circle began its third week in release with an estimated $8.1 million, taking its domestic cume just shy of $80 million.
Outside the top five, Focus Features's Victoria and Abdul expanded into 732 theaters (+655) and delivered strong results, finishing with an estimated $4.1 million. The film is also playing in 32 international markets where it brought in an additional $3 million this weekend bringing its overseas total to $25 million for a global tally just shy of $31 million.
Outside the top ten, Purdie's release of The Stray, in conjunction with Quality Flix, brought in an estimated $550,000 from 640 locations for a disappointing $859 per theater average.
On that note, the theater average champ of the weekend is A24's release of The Florida Project, which debuted with a healthy $152,622 from just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a $38,336 per theater average. With an eye on contending at this year's Oscars, the film will roll out into top markets next weekend ahead of a nationwide expansion on October 27.
Additional limited releases this weekend include Cohen Media's Faces Places, which brought in an estimated $29,807 from five locations ($5,961 PTA); Chavela brought in an estimated $20,500 from four theaters ($5,125 PTA); Dina from The Orchard, which finished with an estimated $8,035 from one theater; and IFC's Walking Out opened in two theaters with an estimated $5,236.
Next weekend will see the release of Universal and Blumhouse's Happy Death Day into 3,000+ theaters, STX's release of The Foreigner, Open Road's Marshall in moderate release and Annapurna will deliver Professor Marston & the Wonder Women.
You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.
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