Blade Runner 2049
- Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
- Written By: Hampton Fancher & Michael Green
- Release Date: October 6, 2017
- Domestic Distributor: Alcon (through Warner Bros)
- Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas
Box Office Info:
|Budget: $150 million||Financed by: Alcon Entertainment; Sony|
|Domestic Gross: $92,054,159||Overseas Gross: $167,185,499|
The Blade Runner property had been controlled by two producers of the original 1982 movie, Jerrold Perenchio and Bud Yorkin. After the home video successes of the many different edits that Ridley Scott commissioned, Bud Yorkin and his wife Cynthia Yorkin wanted to get involved as producers on a sequel. Perenchio wanted nothing to do with any sequels and he sold off his share of the rights in 2005 for $5 million. In March of 2011 the Yorkins landed a deal with Alcon Entertainment to take over the sequel rights. Alcon initially paid $1 million for the property and would pay an additional $10 million once the film had an official green light.
Alcon had previously been in the market for funding mostly low risk movies with a mid-level budget and after they hit the jackpot with The Blind Side, they wanted to get into the big budget franchise business to grow the company. Blade Runner and the remake of Point Break were positioned as their future franchises. Point Break ended up as a total flop and their attempt at launching a big budget tentpole, which was the Johnny Depp fiasco Transcendence — lost Alcon $30 million. Blade Runner was a major risk for Alcon and the company’s expansion model was reliant on the picture’s success. Since you are reading about Blade Runner 2049 on this site, you can jump to the conclusion things did not work out very well for Alcon. In February 2018, the company announced a round of employee layoffs and financial restructuring because of the box office failure of Blade Runner 2049.
Alcon co-financed Blade Runner 2049 equally with Sony. Both companies invested $90 million each and after rebates, the net budget was $150 million. Alcon would own the movie and Sony would handle overseas distribution and retain a percentage of any profits. Alcon has a long standing home at Warner Bros for domestic distribution. WB receives a fee for the use of its distribution resources handling Alcon’s output and any money the studio invests into marketing is backstopped by Alcon. Blade Runner 2049 was first dated for Jan. 12, 2018 but Alcon moved the movie up to October 6, 2017.
Alcon invested a fortune into marketing the film into a potential blockbuster, spending a reported $130+ million on a global P&A blitz. At first the box office prospects for Blade Runner 2049 looked promising. Reviews were stellar and tracking was pointing to an opening between $40 – $50 million, with growing hype that it could possibly bring in even more business. Blade Runner 2049 bowed against The Mountain Between Us and My Little Pony: The Movie and came in way below expectations with $32,753,122 — placing #1 for the weekend. Despite a solid A- cinemascore from audiences, the film was front loaded and sank 52.7% to $15,492,244 the following weekend, killing its chances at breaking out. Blade Runner 2049 also saw a steep 52.5% third frame drop to $7,353,151 and the domestic run closed with $92,054,159. Alcon would see returned about $50.6 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — and after their fee to WB, only their US P&A expenses will about be covered.
After the disappointing domestic numbers, it was up to the international market to pick up the box office slack. Blade Runner 2049 did mediocre business in most markets, with $25 million from the UK as the strongest territory — but its box office take was nowhere near getting the film out of the red. China was the last hope to give the movie a much needed boost to its bottom line, but it bombed in PROC with $11.6 million. The offshore cume stalled at $167.1 million.