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‘Blade Runner 2049’ stalls out after strong start, still wins the box office

Blade Runner 2049 Review
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Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited Blade Runner sequel started off like a blockbuster in the making, but Blade Runner 2049 fell apart as the weekend progressed.

The follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cyberpunk classic was the top film at the box office, but the $31.5 million it earned in U.S. theaters was well below the $45-55 million opening weekend that its strong Thursday night “preview” screenings had pundits predicting. With Blade Runner 2049 reportedly costing around $150 million to make, the film isn’t off to a great start domestically, but it’s doing well overseas so far — to the tune of $81.7 million worldwide — and stands to do well when it opens November 10 in China and some of the other large markets.

All was not doom and gloom for Blade Runner, though, as the film received positive reviews from critics (89-percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes) and a warm reception from general audiences (an “A-” grade from audience polling site CinemaScore). This could mean good things for it if audiences were simply waiting to find out if it was any good before buying into yet another sequel, so we’ll have to see what happens next week.

# Title  Weekend    U.S.  Total   Worldwide Total 
1. Blade Runner 2049 $31.5M $31.5M $81.7M
2. The Mountain Between Us $10.1M $10.1M $13.7M
3. It $9.6M $304.9M $603.7M
4. My Little Pony: The Movie $8.8M $8.8M $12.6M
5. Kingsman: The Golden Circle $8.1M $79.9M $253.5M
6. American Made $8M $30.4M $98.5M
7. The Lego Ninjago Movie $6.7M $43.8M $77.4M
8. Victoria and Abdul $4.1M $5.9M $30.9M
9. Flatliners $3.8M $12.3M $18.3M
10. Battle of the Sexes $2.4M $7.6M $7.6M

Two other new releases found their way into the weekend’s top ten films, with survival drama The Mountain Between Us taking second place and the animated feature My Little Pony: The Movie coming in fourth. Like Blade Runner, both films earned positive, “A-” grades from audiences, but still underperformed at the box office.

In other news, Andy Muschietti’s horror hit It slipped down to third place after making a return trip to the top spot last week. Now firmly atop the record books as the highest-grossing horror movie of all time, It doesn’t appear to be ending its killer run any time soon.

The upcoming weekend doesn’t look to challenge the current rankings, as all of the week’s new releases are lower-profile projects. Among the noteworthy films hitting theaters are the Jackie Chan action film The Foreigner, horror prequel Leatherface, Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall, and horror film Happy Death Day. Whether any of the films squeeze into the top ten remains to be seen, but they face stiff competition from the crowded box office.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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