It’s been about a month and a half since Blade Runner 2049 hit theaters, and while it was certainly embraced by critics, it still managed to be a box office flop, opening with $32.7 million, far under most projections. All the right pieces seemed to be in place, with Harrison Ford returning as Rick Deckard alongside a talented cast including Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto and more, but it still couldn’t find a foothold at the domestic box office, taking in $89.3 million to date, although it has fared better overseas, with a global tally of $252.5 million, from a whopping $150 million budget. Director Denis Villeneuve recently spoke out about the box office failure, which still baffles him to this day.
“I’m still digesting it. It had the best [reviews] of my life. I never had a movie welcomed like that. At the same time, the box office in the United States was a disappointment, that’s the truth, because those movies are expensive. It will still make tons of money but not enough. The thing I think is that, it was maybe because people were not familiar enough with the universe. And the fact the movie’s long. I don’t know, it’s still a mystery to me.”
This comes about a month after director Denis Villeneuve spoke out about the box office failure, while Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ domestic distribution president, stated that the studio “overestimated” the fan base for this movie. Some thought the marketing may have been to blame, since the studio was so adamant about not letting some of the biggest secrets be let out before the movie hits theaters. The studio even went so far as to not showcase the movie on the fall festival circuit, for fear of spoilers leaking out, while director Denis Villeneuve sent a letter to journalists, asking them to not reveal key plot points in their reviews and other pieces. Still, despite all of the critical acclaim, Denis Villeneuve revealed that his favorite Blade Runner reactions were from the “two fathers” of the franchise, star Harrison Ford and director Ridley Scott.
“The two best ones to me, by far, I received on a Saturday, that beautiful long phone call from Harrison Ford, who had just seen the movie and he was deeply moved and he was so generous saying how proud he was of the movie, and that meant the world to me, to know that Harrison was happy with the film, was excited about the film. Also, when Ridley Scott told me he loved the movie, and explaining why, those were, for me, by far, the best two reactions. To have, how can I say, the blessing of both fathers, to know they loved the movie, after that, I was ready to show the movie to the rest of the world.”
Some box office analysts believed that the movie’s global box office performance could have been saved, so to speak, by a strong showing in China, but Blade Runner 2049 bombed in China as well, opening with just $7.5 million with a total take of $11.5 million. Still, even with its decent global tally, we reported earlier this month that the movie is poised to lose roughly $80 million for financier Alcon Productions, since the company’s CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson claimed that the movie would need to make $400 million worldwide to break even. Take a look at director Denis Villeneuve’s full video interview below, courtesy of Yahoo! Entertainment.