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It could have been worse: The final domestic weekend totals for “Blade Runner 2049” came to $32.7 million, about $1.25 million better than initial pre-Sunday estimates. That could mean all is not lost for Warner Bros. — but with production, marketing, and distribution around $300 million, it’s still a dreadful result. Who stands to suffer the most? Here are some losers — and, some possible winners.
“Blade Runner 2049”
Alcon - Production - Company - FedEx - Fred
Alcon, the 20 year-old production company founded by FedEx’s Fred Smith, has produced 31 films, with one big moneymaker (“The Blind Spot”), some smaller successes (“Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Insomnia”) and several higher-budget flops (“Transcendence,” “Point Break”).
Its total investment in “Blade Runner 2049” isn’t totally clear. Sony is reported to have contributed $90 million for international rights, with its share of marketing expenses uncertain. So Alcon will neither bear the entire expense nor keep all the revenues, but it appears to be in a position to lose tens of millions. Sony will be in for a loss as well, perhaps their biggest of the year. The studio’s summer had a gratifying high-cost franchise reboot in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and two mid-level successes in “Baby Driver” and “The Emoji Movie.” But for a studio that is struggling for an identity, it’s a demoralizing loss, particularly with the absence of any immediate blockbuster on their release schedule.
Blade - Runner
“Blade Runner 2049”
It might seem strange to give one underachieving film too much importance, but observers hoped that “Blade Runner 2049” could maintain the momentum “It” began last month. However misplaced the expectations, stocks of all three leading U.S. exhibitors dropped around five percent Monday.
Market - Profile - Denis - Villeneuve - Film
The market isn’t always logical, but the elevated profile for Denis Villeneuve’s film, its expense, and the desire for a continued box-office surge may have led to a too-great symbolic value. Also,...
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