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.
One thing that makes Blade Runner and other movies classics is the ambiguity of certain important aspects of the film. As a matter of fact, ambiguity gives the film a longer lifespan than a film that answers every question. In the case of Blade Runner, the one topic of ambiguity is the nature of the protagonist. In the first film, particularly in the director’s and final cuts, there were scenes that suggested that the protagonist of the film Deckard is a replicant. However, one issue that appears with the film is that Deckard appears in Blade Runner 2049 in an aged form. For some people, this shuts down the replicant theory. However, there are plenty of other things to consider.
While in the first film, it was stated that the replicants had a four year lifespan, there are lines of dialogue that suggest that not every replicant has the four year lifespan. In the theatrical ending that was cut out of later versions of the film, Deckard’s voice over has said that Rachel, who was a replicant, was special in that she had no termination date. However, she does not appear in the film. It might be explained what happened to her, or there might be ambiguity in that case as well.
One thing that the director doesn’t want to do is answer the mystery as to whether or not Deckard is a replicant. He did say that he will take care of the mystery. The best way to take care of the mystery is to keep it going. As to whether or not K is a replicant, the trailers seem to spoil that he is a replicant. However, this is not going to be the big mystery in Blade Runner 2049, which will be released this October in premium theaters.
One of the most well known facts about Blade Runner is that it did not do well at the box office. There are many ideas as to why that is. They all range from the time that it was released to the type of cut that was released. There is one very possible theory. There is very little wrong with this ground breaking masterpiece. The only issue is that it has moved very slow. One of the things that people were expecting when they have first seen the trailer for the 1982 sci-fi classic is that there was going to be more action.
Whatever the real issue is, the sequel, Blade Runner 2049 is ready to be released in October. It is safe to say that the same issues that worked against the predecessor is likely going to work in the sequel’s favor. For one thing, Blade Runner has come to be loved as a classic groundbreaking sci-fi film. Therefore, if the new film manages to keep the style of its predecessor while bringing something new, then it will likely do well. One thing that is certain is that it has a lot going for it. Among these is the Blade Runner branding.
Perhaps one thing that Blade Runner 2049 does not want to be is an action spectacle. While it is okay for it to have just a little more action than its predecessor, it is important for it to maintain the slow, deliberate and contemplative pacing that has become part of the charm of Blade Runner. Therefore, the best way for Blade Runner 2049 to avoid repeating the first one’s fate at the box office is by being like the first one. If this film does good, then there might be more movies that may open up the universe.
The new trailer for Blade Runner 2049 will soon be upon us. The trailer is slated to precede the film Alien: Covenant. Movie fans know Ridley Scott created both Blade Runner and Alien. Likely, Alien: Covenant is going to be a big hit. A great many eyes are going to see the trailer. Blade Runner 2049 really does need an impressive trailer in order to be successful. Not everyone has long memories nor has a number of younger audience members even seen the first Blade Runner movie.
A good trailer and accompanying television spots could do a lot to stimulate interest in Blade Runner 2049. And questions marks do exist regarding how much of an audience is out there for this film. Science-fiction is popular, but the dark nature of the original Blade Runner is likely to reappear in the sequel. Most successful sci-fi these days is escapist and fun fare.
Yet, a solid trailer could do a lot to intrigue significant numbers of Alien: Covenant audience members to check the film out. That could lead to a solid opening weekend at the box office. From there, good word of mouth may help ticket sales remain solid for some time.
Blade Runner 2049 is a unique film and it could end up becoming a cult classic just like the original. If so, then the sequel will continue to generate money for years and years. A special edition DVD or Blu-ray set probably would sell exceptionally among fans. Yes, this is a different type of film with an equally different business model.
In order to be a true success, the sequel cannot disappoint. A poorly written or weakly directed sequel would be met with scorn from long-time Blade Runner fans. Hopefully, the creative talent behind Blade Runner 2049 are going to deliver a very special and excellent film.