Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports this morning that Blade Runner 2049 earned an estimated $12.7 million on opening day Friday, including Thursday night’s $4.0 million bow.
Co-financed and distributed overseas by Sony/Alcon, the long-awaited sci-fi sequel has unfortunately fallen far short of expectations with an opening day mark that came in 17 percent below Alien: Covenant ($15.3 million), 25 percent behind Interstellar ($16.9 million), and 30 percent below The Martian ($18.15 million), all despite posting significantly higher Thursday debuts than the latter two films. Thursday night proved to be far more front-loaded than suspected as it earned 31.5 percent of its total opening day gross before Friday even began — compared to Martian‘s 14 percent and Interstellar‘s 16 percent. Based on relevant trajectories at this point, an opening weekend of $30 million may be the high-end of where it lands.
2049 marks one of the more surprising under-performances of the year given the strong pre-release signals supporting expectations for an opening weekend near or above $50 million (the studio itself had expected $45-50 million, while we were forecasting a more bullish $54 million this week). Hot social media buzz, gushing critical reviews, enthusiastic pre-sales reports from multiple ticketing outlets, and a respectable marketing effort drove optimistic outlooks for the film’s box office potential, but that buzz didn’t cross over to mainstream audiences. One minor cause could be the film’s long run time — although, in fairness, it’s comparable to the length of Interstellar. In addition to having some esoteric appeal to a cult fan base, a significant factor to consider may be the still-recovering national mood following last weekend’s tragic events in Las Vegas, potentially leaving some moviegoers far from eager to see a bleak and brainy sci-fi movie.
The good news: Blade Runner 2049 generated an “A-” CinemaScore, while its Flixster audience rating stands at a very encouraging 87 percent with a 4.3/5.0 rating this morning. Staying power could still be in the film’s future with no tentpole releases on the calendar until November’s Thor: Ragnarok, and overseas earnings will remain a factor for 2049 as the studio estimates it will bring in $48-52 million from 60 percent of international markets this weekend (comparable to Gravity, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Martian‘s overseas launches).
Meanwhile, The Mountain Between Us debuted close to expectations with $3.525 million on Friday. It’s on course for a weekend around $9.75 million, although the studio expects $10 million.
My Little Pony: The Movie scored a healthy $2.97 million launch yesterday, setting it up for around $10 million or more this weekend (based on the studio’s current projections) thanks to many kids out of school on Monday for fall break and/or Columbus Day.
IT held fourth with $2.705 million yesterday as it prepares to cross the $300 million domestic threshold sometime on Saturday; American Made added $2.34 million for an eight-day cume of $24.7 million; Kingsman: The Golden Circle added $2.3 million for a $79.9 million domestic total thus far; lastly, Victoria & Abdul earned a healthy $1.227 million as it expanded to 732 locations this weekend.
Early weekend estimates are below with updated numbers from the studios to follow on Sunday.
|1||Blade Runner 2049||$28,500,000||—||4,058||—||$7,023||$28,500,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|2||My Little Pony: The Movie||$10,000,000||—||2,528||—||$3,956||$10,000,000||1||Lionsgate|
|3||The Mountain Between Us||$9,750,000||—||3,088||—||$3,157||$9,750,000||1||20th Century Fox|
|4||It (2017)||$9,500,000||-44%||3,605||-312||$2,635||$304,778,478||5||Warner Bros. / New Line|
|6||Kingsman: The Golden Circle||$8,000,000||-53%||3,488||-550||$2,294||$79,864,425||3||Fox|
|7||The LEGO Ninjago Movie||$6,600,000||-43%||3,611||-436||$1,828||$43,673,663||3||Warner Bros.|
|9||Battle of the Sexes||$2,300,000||-33%||1,822||609||$1,262||$7,577,575||3||Fox Searchlight|
|10||American Assassin||$1,300,000||-61%||1,656||-1364||$785||$34,361,277||4||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|11||Home Again||$550,000||-68%||1,003||-1367||$548||$26,335,346||5||Open Road|
|1||Victoria & Abdul||$4,300,000||294%||732||655||$5,874||$6,115,394||3||Focus Features|
|2||The Stray||$550,000||—||640||—||$859||$550,000||1||Pure Flix|
|3||A Question Of Faith||$420,000||-59%||608||-53||$691||$1,755,256||2||Pure Flix Entertainment|
|6||The Hitman’s Bodyguard||$180,000||-74%||314||-805||$573||$75,031,672||8||Lionsgate / Summit|
|8||Brad’s Status||$100,000||-75%||247||-206||$405||$2,017,409||4||Amazon Studios / Annapurna Pictures|
|9||The Glass Castle||$50,000||-13%||113||-23||$442||$17,242,731||9||LionsgateLionsgate|
|1||The Big Sick||$185,000||319%||34||-47||$5,441||$42,988,713||16||Lionsgate|
Friday Report: Warner Bros. and Sony/Alcon’s Blade Runner 2049 hauled an estimated $4.0 million from Thursday screenings, including $800,000 from IMAX alone. That’s a very healthy start for the long-awaited, strongly reviewed sequel as it comes in 60 percent ahead of The Martian ($2.5 million), 48 percent ahead of Interstellar ($2.7 million, excluding pre-Thursday IMAX screenings), and 8 percent ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road ($3.7 million). 2049‘s Thursday take was also leaps and bounds ahead of Gravity‘s $1.4 million start, although that film released four years ago without a franchise-like upfront demand and when Thursday night showings weren’t as prolific as they are today.
Fox’s The Mountain Between Us took in an estimated $400,000 last night, generally on par with our final pre-release expectations. That represents about one-third of the $1.23 million earned by The Girl on the Train‘s Thursday debut this time last year.
Meanwhile, My Little Pony grossed a reported $290,000 from last night’s shows, a respectable start for a film that will attract most of its target audience over the weekend and on Monday (Columbus Day). For comparison, that’s within the realm of Smurfs: The Lost Village‘s $380,000 Thursday start earlier this year.
Follow Boxoffice on Twitter for continued updates throughout the weekend, and check back here on Saturday morning for key Friday estimates from the studios and initial weekend estimates.