‘Blade Run­ner’ ap­peals to fan boys, few oth­ers at open­ing

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - Pho­tos and text from wire ser­vices

NEW YORK — “Blade Run­ner 2049” had the pedi­gree, the stars and the stel­lar re­views. But even though the highly touted se­quel had seem­ingly ev­ery­thing go­ing for it, some­thing didn’t click with au­di­ences.

The big-bud­get, hand­somely crafted se­quel to the 1982 sci-fi clas­sic opened sur­pris­ingly weak at the North Amer­i­can box of­fice. Ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sunday, “2049” grossed $31.5 mil­lion, a poor start for a movie that cost at least $150 mil­lion to make.

The prob­lem “Blade run­ner 2049” ran into is clear from open­ing-week­end data. The au­di­ence was over­whelm­ingly male (71 per­cent) and over the age of 25 (86 per­cent). The movie, star­ring Ryan Gosling and Har­ri­son Ford, sim­ply failed to pull in movie­go­ers beyond fans of the 1982 original.

The open­ing was a blow most of all to Al­con En­ter­tain­ment, the pro­duc­tion com­pany that split the film’s cost with Sony Pic­tures. Warner Bros., which re­leased the original and main­tained rights for any fol­low-ups, dis­trib­uted do­mes­ti­cally. Sony re­leased the film in­ter­na­tion­ally, where it per­formed bet­ter with $50.2 mil­lion in over­seas ticket sales over the week­end.

The 20-year-old Al­con, backed by FedEx founder Fred Smith, has been be­hind some no­table suc­cesses with Warner Bros. (“The Blind Side,” “Pris­on­ers.”) But its block­buster am­bi­tions — which in­clude flops like “Point Break” and “Tran­scen­dence” — have gone rock­ier. Co-founder An­drew Kosove pre­vi­ously called the am­bi­tious “Blade Run­ner 2049” “a chips-in-the-cen­ter-of-the-table ex­er­cise.”

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Sunday at U.S. and Cana­dian the­aters ac­cord­ing to comS­core. Where avail­able, the lat­est in­ter­na­tional num­bers also are in­cluded. Fi­nal do­mes­tic fig­ures will be re­leased to­day.

1. “Blade Run­ner 2049,” $31.5 mil­lion ($50.2 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

2. “The Moun­tain Between Us,” $10.1 mil­lion ($3.6 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

3. “It,” $9.7 mil­lion.

4. “My Lit­tle Pony: The Movie,” $8.8 mil­lion ($3.8 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

5. “Kingsman: The Golden Cir­cle,” $8.1 mil­lion ($25.5 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

6. “Amer­i­can Made,” $8.1 mil­lion ($1.8 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

7. “The Lego Nin­jago Movie,” $6.8 mil­lion ($6.9 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

8. “Vic­to­ria & Ab­dul,” $4.1 mil­lion ($3 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

9. “Flat­lin­ers,” $3.8 mil­lion ($1.5 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional.)

10. “Bat­tle of the Sexes,” $2.4 mil­lion.

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Sunday at in­ter­na­tional the­aters (ex­clud­ing the U.S. and Canada), ac­cord­ing to comS­core.

1. “Never Say Die,” $66 mil­lion.

2. “Blade Run­ner 2049,” $50.2 mil­lion.

3. “Kingsman: The Golden Cir­cle,” $25.5 mil­lion.

4. “It,” $19.8 mil­lion.

5. “Chas­ing the Dragon,” $17.6 mil­lion.

6. “The For­eigner,” $17 mil­lion.

7. “The Fortress,” $14.4 mil­lion.

8. “City of Rock,” $11.9 mil­lion.

9. “Crime City,” $9.7 mil­lion.

10. “Sky Hunter,” $9.1 mil­lion.

Stephen Vaughan / As­so­ci­ated Press

Ryan Gosling, left, and Har­ri­son Ford in a scene from “Blade Run­ner 2049.”

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