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Oof, this one is rough. Over the weekend, despite good buzz and glowing reviews from critics, Blade Runner 2049 opened by bringing in a meager $31.5 million domestically at the box office, a figure well below expectations and one that looks particularly bleak when you factor in that the film reportedly cost more than $150 million to make.
What happened? Were fans just unwilling to go back to Blade Runner's future 35 years after Ridley Scott's original film? Did women not want to see a movie where they had such limited roles? Or did the performance of Denis Villeneuve's Runner reboot just speak to the fact that not that many folks wanted to spend nearly three hours watching a moody—if stunning—sci-fi film when things are already so gloomy outside the multiplex? It's hard to say, though industry analysts suggest lack of interest from people under 25 and a runtime that allows for fewer screenings per day are contributing factors.
Theories - Angela - Watercutter - Brian - Raftery
As for us, we have some theories of our own. Below, Angela Watercutter and Brian Raftery, who wrote WIRED's cover story on the movie, put their heads together to figure out what BR2049 did right, what it did wrong, and why it didn't do much of anything at all at the box office.
Angela Watercutter: OK, I'll start, mostly because I have a lot of questions and Brian's a bigger Blade-head than I. Dude, what happened here? I think you liked this sequel more than I did, but I think we can both agree it's a solid film that deserved to sell more tickets than it did. Did it just not connect with people? When we were talking about it in the WIRED Culture Slack, our colleague Peter Rubin pointed out that after editing Devon Maloney'a piece analyzing the representations of women in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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