“Blade Runner 2049” is dominating the domestic box office but coming in under forecasts with a $36 million opening weekend at 4,058 North American sites, estimates showed Saturday.
The sci-fi sequel had been pegged this week to launch between $45 million and $50 million — similar to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which debuted to $45 million. Reviews are stellar with an 89% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film’s lengthy 163-minute run time cuts down the number of showings each day and may have dampened interest among younger moviegoers.
Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution on “Blade Runner 2049,” starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, through its output deal with Alcon Entertainment. The follow-up to 1982’s “Blade Runner,” directed by Denis Villeneuve and laden with special effects, carries a $150 million price tag with Alcon and Sony financing. It’s set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2049, with Gosling starring as an LAPD officer dealing with replicants seeking freedom.