The buzz was high, the critics swooned, but audiences seemingly cared little for Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” when the sci-fi sequel opened early last month and promptly sunk at the box-office.
The film effectively wrapped up its theatrical run with $249 million worldwide this month, and only $89 million of that was from the United States. That’s not good for a costly $150 million budget film, and that’s before marketing. As of now, even with healthy home video revenue, the film looks to end up in the red by about $80 million.
Speaking with Yahoo late last week, Villeneuve was asked to make sense of the disappointing box office run and he admits it baffles him:
“I’m still digesting it. We had the best [critics’ reviews]. I’ve never had a movie welcomed like that. At the same time the box office in the United States was a disappointment, that’s true, because those movies are expensive. It will still make tons of money, but not enough. I think because maybe people were not familiar enough with the universe. And the fact that the movie’s long [2 hours, 44 minutes run time]…I don’t know. It’s still a mystery to me. I make movies – I don’t sell them.”
Villeneuve adds however that he is: “at peace with is the fact that the hardcore fans that loved the first movie really welcomed this one… that for me means the world.”
“Blade Runner 2049” appears to have met the same fate as Ridley Scott’s original, bombing at the box office though later becoming a cult classic.