• Yeah these are the most depressing numbers for a major release in a while relative to expectations and acclaim. Especially considering the weekend started off well for it with $4m in previews.

    Still, I’m sure the film will have a long afterlife just like the original has.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      I actively annoyed at people who didn’t go but yeah, it’ll almost certainly have an afterlife.

      • In the end it is an almost three-hour bleak dystopian film with little action, plus a predecessor that’s iconic among film buffs but I guess not so much with general public. I wish the marketing were more effective – reportedly Alcon was in charge of that, they would have been better off asking Warner Bros. to handle it – and the people more interested, but at least we got an accomplished final film that’s out there.

  • So this basically puts to bed the ridiculous theory that critics control a movies entire box office gross, right? Critics couldn’t save Blade Runner 2049, they didn’t kill BvS or Suicide Squad, garbage like Baywatch bombed because of the movies themselves.

    • Babalu-ghost

      I think that theory was put to bed right around the time Intolerance came out.

      All these things work in conjunction with each other. Batman V Superman is a good example of this. That is an ironclad premise, no level of critical disdain would be able to turn it into a flop. But good reviews (and I don’t think we can separate professional criticism and word of mouth any more) is the difference between being profitable, and being a Wonder Woman or Dark Knight level phenomenon.

    • Well I’d argue that the hype for BVS would have been even bigger and consequently it would have opened even higher if it had gotten glowing reviews, and 2049 would have bombed worse if it had been panned. Plenty of people who are on the fence about seeing a movie do look to critics for guidance, but it doesn’t go any further than that, yeah. When people just aren’t interested, they aren’t interested.

    • Dead Jerk Jerk Dead

      Late to the game, but I really am getting convinced the the best box-office predictor for a given film is how people currently feel about the previous film they most closely associate with it. Batman vs. Superman was kind of a no-brainer (and the public sheen hadn’t worn off of Man of Steel yet) but Suicide Squad might’ve seen trouble coming; same for Alien: Covenant. A lot of people like Blade Runner and a lot more people know about it, but don’t spend any time thinking about it; if we’re getting something of a shrug at the idea of a sequel (which seemed silly on its surface, to me at least), that shouldn’t really surprise anyone, right?

      • Departed Hunchback (errrr…)

        Also unsurprising: Greenlighting a movie that is a sequel to a film that already didn’t do well at the box office. I guess I can see what execs thought: With the cult having grown around the original “Blade Runner,” there might be an audience, but you should also take into account how the first one performed, if you’re looking for a box office dynamo.

        • Dead Jerk Jerk Dead

          Yeah, capitalizing on nostalgia seems like it’s always been a tricky business, but for some reason we don’t publicly approach it as fraught with peril. There’s the juggernauts of course (like the Star Wars prequel trilogy) and it’s certainly possible to do it well and/or make money doing it, of course. (Say what you will, but Michael Bay did make the Transformers franchise some of that “socks made of silk” money; hardly a guaranteed outcome, that.) Every so often a movie like this comes along and I’m just not sure what they were thinking…

          Setting aside the idea that this is a sequel to *this* movie, of course, which still seems like a stupid idea in theory to me.

  • There are two big things keeping me away from Blade Runner 2049:

    1) I hate Villeneuve. Granted, I’ve only seen Arrival and Prisoners, but they were both kind of pretty objects that were also terrible movies.

    2) I don’t know if I want another Blade Runner and the trailers have done a terrible job of justifying 2049’s existence.

    2b) It doesn’t help that Warner offerred notes on how to review the movie without “spoilers” which means you can’t talk about the plot.

    So, I just plain don’t want to see a nearly 3-hour movie that I have no idea what it’s actually about, especially one by a director whose movies have previously made me laugh at how insultingly dumb they are.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      It’s really, really good, I’m serious. The more I think about it the more I enjoy it, even if I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece.

      • What did you think about Arrival?

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          I liked it a lot but they’re very different films – science fiction but at opposite ends of the spectrum. Arrival has that mix of austerity and warmth where 2049 is well Blade Runner, violently detached and overwhelming.

          • This sounds trite, but I think Villeneuve’s movies work for those on his wavelength and are terrible for those who aren’t. I found Arrival to be violently detached and overwhelmingly depressive. Where most saw “austerity” I saw “blandness” and where you saw “warmth” I saw “mechanical emotional manipulation.”

            Much like all film, it’s totally YMMV, but I haven’t been able to get on the same groove as this cat. And most descriptions of it haven’t fostered any good will towards the movie.

          • My read of Villeneuve is that he’s a director entirely concerned with visual/sensory spectacle, and because of this, he can bring a good script to life but can’t direct his way out of a bad one–he doesn’t have the interest to demand rewrites or try and fix things himself. Thing is, I would have said the same thing about Ridley Scott if all I’d seen was The Duellists and Alien.

    • 2049 justifies its existence insofar as it tells its very own story and expands on the world and ideas of the original without either being slavish to it or taking too many liberties. I can’t think of what else it would need to do to be “justified”, really.

      Villeneuve’s directorial style doesn’t really change from film to film, which has become my only real problem with him on the whole (even when I like or love a film of his, I just feel like I already know all of his tricks) and it’s why I doubt any movie of his will completely turn you around. Stories and themes do change, though, and on that front I definitely got more out of 2049 than I did out of Arrival and Prisoners which I think are his two weakest English-language films.

      My favorite and one I’d recommend to you is Enemy, in large part because it’s the least concerned about appearing/being smart – in a sense that it’s the least driven by plotting or real-world logic, instead it’s a Lynchian mindfuck that uses Villeneuve’s clinical style for nothing but maximum creepiness and dread. Runs a perfectly smooth 90 minutes too.