This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast takes an initial look at the long-gestating Blade Runner sequel, set for release on October 6. Our thoughts and other updated forecasts:
Blade Runner 2049
- Since its release 35 years ago, Blade Runner has become regarded as a seminal piece of work in the realm of science fiction cinema. With its fans now spanning multiple generations, curiosity and anticipation are driving significant interest in this sequel.
- Ryan Gosling is fresh off another acclaimed role in the hugely successful La La Land, on top of his already impressive resume. He could be a key factor in helping this film appeal beyond the target adult male audience, while the return of Harrison Ford will also excite his own fan base.
- Director Denis Villenueve is similarly riding momentum from last year’s Oscar-nominated Arrival. His own fan base has been building in recent years thanks to the critical and commercial reception of that film, Sicario, and Prisoners.
- The film’s initial trailer campaign has intrigued audiences and excited fans. Across social media, the sequel’s Twitter footprint has recently been on par with Alien: Covenant and significantly ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road at the same point before release.
- October has proven in recent years that it’s capable of hosting successful genre films that would have been saved for summer or holiday releases in decades past. Examples: the blockbuster success of films like Gravity and The Martian. The lack of significant and direct competition opening after it until November could be an advantage for staying power if mainstream audiences latch onto the film.
- Although held in high regard within film circles, the original Blade Runner was certainly far more niche in its time than other sci-fi blockbusters of the 1980s era. Its original $28 million domestic run in 1982 was quite modest, ranking 27th for the year. If this sequel embraces a similarly esoteric story, mainstream appeal beyond opening weekend could be somewhat limited.
- Facebook growth has been stagnant recently, making it something to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. Still, with nearly 1.4 million total fans so far, it has tripled the number of ‘likes’ Mad Max: Fury Road generated by the same two-month pre-release window.
- This film’s release on October 6 will mark the fourth consecutive weekend featuring an opener targeted heavily toward adult males, following September 15’s American Assassin, September 22’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and September 29’s American Made. Maintaining strong marketing — as well as buzz from early screenings and critics — will be important toward the goal of meeting its full potential on opening weekend.
This Week’s Other Additions
- Following the release of its first trailer, our initial forecast for Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (Paramount) is now included in the table below. Although we expect his fan base to turn out, the increasing potential of It one week earlier may limit audience reach for the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle.
- The Mountain Between Us (Fox), also debuting on October 6, is currently generating lukewarm social media activity. That’s not a major concern given its nature as a relatively small profile release, but our expectations are modest for now. On the upside, it could prove to be a solid counter-programmer among women.
- My Little Pony (Lionsgate) will also debut the same weekend, although the studio’s history with animated titles leaves us on the conservative side. With LEGO Ninjago likely to still be doing solid business in its third weekend at this time, this film will be relying mainly on mothers with young daughters.
The Long Range Forecast:
|Release Date||Title||3-Day Wide Opening||% Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total||% Chg from Last Week||Location Count||Distributor|
|8/18/2017||The Hitman’s Bodyguard||$17,500,000||-8%||$51,000,000||-11%||3,000||Lionsgate / Summit|
|8/18/2017||Logan Lucky||$12,000,000||$39,000,000||2,400||Bleecker Street|
|8/25/2017||All Saints||$4,000,000||$14,500,000||21%||1,000||Sony / Columbia|
|8/25/2017||Birth of the Dragon||$2,500,000||$5,500,000||700||BH Tilt|
|8/25/2017||Leap!||$4,250,000||-6%||$14,900,000||-6%||2,100||The Weinstein Company|
|9/8/2017||Home Again||$12,000,000||$45,000,000||Open Road Films|
|9/8/2017||It||$46,000,000||15%||$115,000,000||15%||Warner Bros. / New Line|
|9/15/2017||All I See Is You||$6,500,000||$15,600,000||Open Road|
|9/22/2017||Friend Request||n/a||n/a||Entertainment Studios|
|9/22/2017||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||$39,000,000||$100,000,000||Fox|
|9/22/2017||The LEGO Ninjago Movie||$40,000,000||$138,000,000||Warner Bros.|
|9/29/2017||Flatliners (2017)||$11,000,000||$26,000,000||Sony / Screen Gems|
|9/29/2017||A Question of Faith||n/a||n/a||Pure Flix|
|10/6/2017||Blade Runner 2049||$44,000,000||NEW||$115,000,000||NEW||Warner Bros.|
|10/6/2017||The Mountain Between Us||$8,000,000||NEW||$25,000,000||NEW||Fox|
|10/6/2017||My Little Pony (2017)||$7,500,000||NEW||$21,500,000||NEW||Lionsgate|
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.