Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

October 7, 2017

I loved you in Mickey Mouse Club.

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For all the hype and excitement surrounding Blade Runner 2049, including fantastic reviews and a strong Cinemascore, it couldn’t quite break through all the noise of the many other pop culture options to big box office success. Also, Kate Winslet, Idris Elba and Prince Twilight Sparkle made nary a dent in the collective consciousness.

Perhaps the primary audience for movies just doesn’t remember the original Blade Runner enough to get thrilled about a sequel. After all, the primary movie-going audience is usually young men between the ages of 18-25. They weren’t even a consideration when the 1982 version of Blade Runner was released, and moreover, they’ve watched Ridley Scott systematically take apart his other franchise, Alien.

Moreover, given the times we’re living in today, people might not be that keen on dystopian science fiction. With awful news from Las Vegas earlier in the week and constant political bickering on social networks, do people really need to go to the theater to see an example of how dark the world can be? It seems that escapism might be the preferred medicine, and there are plenty of other places to go (gaming, television, sports, YouTube videos) to get it.

So, what this means is that despite starting with a strong $4 million from Thursday night previews, Blade Runner 2049 finished Friday with just $12.7 million. If we take out the $4 million from the fanboys who obviously rushed out to see it as quickly as they could, that leaves a “true” Friday total of only $8.7 million. Blade Runner 2049, which could have been a cultural touchstone, instead stands as yet another disappointing sequel/reboot for the 2017 campaign.


That Friday number is really bad news for Warner Bros., as the budget for this project was estimated between $150-$190 million. Blade Runner 2049 isn’t even certain to make $30 million for the weekend, though I do suspect that even if it doesn’t, WB will lie up to at least $30 million. That’s a far cry from the $50 million opening weekend that was projected. The studio is going to need to hope for serious overseas dollars and domestic legs if the investment on this one is going to be recouped.

Second place, then, will go to The Mountain Between Us, the Kate Winslet/Idris Elba survival story. It earned $3.5 million yesterday, and should come in right around $10 million for the weekend. Given the relatively frugal $35 million budget, this isn’t too bad, but it will certainly need to hope for audiences to continue to support it in the coming weeks. Since it’s not really positioned as an awards contender, that doesn’t seem super likely.

Our final new opener is My Little Pony, a movie based on those adorable little creatures that have weird popularity amongst a variety of groups. Lionsgate, the distributor for this project, doesn’t often have a lot of success with animated films, and My Little Pony isn’t an exception. It started on Friday with $3 million, and should finish the weekend right around $11 million. Even with that low showing, My Little Pony couldn’t have been terribly expensive, so Lionsgate will be just fine.

For our notable holdovers, the only one truly worth talking about is It, which will pass the $300 million mark domestically this weekend (and might be hitting that point as you read this). Pennywise and friends are closing in on $600 million worldwide as well. If anyone told you that It would be one of the biggest stories of 2017, you would have laughed, I bet. And then a sewer clown would have gotten you.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Blade Runner 2049 30.0
2 My Little Pony 11.1
3 The Mountain Between Us 10.2
4 It 8.1
5 American Made 7.0
6 Kingsman: The Golden Circle 6.9
7 The LEGO Ninjago Movie 6.4
8 Victoria and Abdul 3.7
9 Flatliners 3.0
10 Battle of the Sexes 2.0



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