No good news seems to be coming out of the box office performance of Blade Runner 2049. The film opened with soft box office numbers. Fans and insiders tried to put a positive note on the weak opening. Perhaps the film would do much better overseas than it did in North American theaters. Maybe the feature would draw consistent numbers each week and build a following leading to eventual impressive numbers. All this wishful thinking turned out not to be rooted in the reality of the financial truth.
Blade Runner 2049 hasn’t even earned $100 million at the North American box office, which is horrible for a $150 million-budgeted film. Overseas, the film isn’t doing any business. The film failed miserably in China, a market that has often helped deliver tremendous ticket sales for films that did not necessarily do well elsewhere.
What makes all this so sad is the fact Blade Runner 20149 stands as an outstanding sequel. In terms of quality, this is an outstanding science-fiction film that brilliantly builds on the mysterious ending of the original 1982 film. Blade Runner 2049 came along at the wrong time. Few films seems to be connecting with audiences. Superhero films and the outlier Stephen King’s It did extremely well. A tremendous number of movies, sadly, underperformed. Quite a few films turned out to be massive box office flops. Even some truly excellent features performed poorly.
What is causing films such as Blade Runner 2049 to underperform? Competition from so many other forms of entertainment do keep people away from theaters. Blade Runner 2049 surely suffered from alternate media competition. The film, however, also couldn’t overcome the fact the audience interested in the sequel was comprised of only a small number of classic sci-fi movie fans.