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Andrew Reid

Blade Runner 2049 bombs at box office

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http://deadline.com/2017/10/ryan-gosling-blade-runner-2049-harrison-ford-opening-weekend-box-office-1202183063/

I've just seen it.

Definitely not a fast paced action film. It's slow, brooding and very very tense. Roger's cinematography is his best work ever, and he'll get a Oscar for it. So many deft touches and changes mid scene to serve the story. It's a stunning looking film. Dennis Villeneuve slowed down the pace, focussed on a study of the characters above everything else. I'm still not 100% a Villeneuve fan but this is far more entertaining than Arrival.

I am more impressed with the story and screenplay... It has many good ideas. Some genuinely original and untried. I think it will stand up to repeat viewings, it has the depth to go down as a bit of a modern classic.

I just wish I was more a fan of the overall cinema experience of people munching stinking nachos in your fucking ear whilst talking constantly. (To be fair this isn't as common in Berlin as some other places but I lucked out and got to sit next to a dirty old corporation man on a date with his 18 year old intern)

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$36 million domestically is under expectations but hardly what I would call "bombing" especially considering the source material.  The original was not some great smash hit during its theatrical run.  Not sure why a sequel would be.  Come back in five years and I guarantee you this thing is profitable.

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Yes I agree 100% but the problem is - they spent $400 million on making and marketing it as fodder for the masses.

Grossly overrated the reach and popularity of the source material.

The budget of the film was $155 million after tax rebates and other stuff. The marketing effort was HUGE.

They better hope the long term outlook is good for it... I think it will be... It'll stand up well in 5, 10, 20 years.

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This is very expected. I predicted this and people said I was wrong. The problem is Blade Runner was never a major brand like Star Wars or like Batman, etc. It's a cult movie. Ryan as a star has some following, but he is at best has a cult following and his female followers from La La Land are not going to rush to see a sci-fi movie. However, there is a good chance of a secondary bump via social media etc. If the movie is as good as people say, we'll see social media influence in pushing it up. 

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Having worked in Hollywood I can say categorically that the marketing department (money, budget, etc) is less connected to the filmmakers than the person filling the popcorn at the movie theater.  Also, the money can come from different sources.  Even back in 1985 when I worked in the biz foreign distribution money could give/take-away a green light.  That is, there are many "interests" in the film, from academy nominations to simple worldwide gross.  When I was at Orion they made "Dances with Wolves" only to keep Kevin Costner happy so he would make other films with them--who saw Waterworld coming? ;).  While it was being made, people practically laughed to his face about that movie.   Blade Runner is partly a vanity project for all involved.  I remember when they were making 2010, or whatever that 2001 sequel was and had to build all new sets because Kubrick had purposely destroyed the old ones.  At first I thought he was a jerk.  That changed after watching the sequel.   They must have known it would be no 2001.  They didn't care.   For many reasons, various people wanted to invest in it.  Bottom line, if money was the only reason to make blade runner, I doubt it would have been made.  It's an adult story.  They're not money makers.  All the money makers have children in them as lead characters--well, children to me ;)

 

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44 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yes I agree 100% but the problem is - they spent $400 million on making and marketing it as fodder for the masses.

Grossly overrated the reach and popularity of the source material.

The budget of the film was $155 million after tax rebates and other stuff. The marketing effort was HUGE.

They better hope the long term outlook is good for it... I think it will be... It'll stand up well in 5, 10, 20 years.

Source on that $400 million number? They maybe spent $100 on marketing, MAYBE.

It'll break even internationally. Hardly would call it a bomb. Valerian was a bomb.

Hoping the great reviews will give it great legs in the U.S. Absolutely loved the film myself.

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58 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yes I agree 100% but the problem is - they spent $400 million on making and marketing it as fodder for the masses.

Grossly overrated the reach and popularity of the source material.

The budget of the film was $155 million after tax rebates and other stuff. The marketing effort was HUGE.

They better hope the long term outlook is good for it... I think it will be... It'll stand up well in 5, 10, 20 years.

Oh, sh-t.  I didn't realize they spent that much on marketing.  Ouch.

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It hasn't premiered in Japan or South Korea yet. I'm unaware of how popular it is over there but it might be a huge market.

The ties between Columbia (Sony) and Japan are of course obvious.

I remember the articles about the Warcraft movie and how poor it did domesticly, while it made most of its revenue in the Chinese market. Legendary pictures also had strong ties with China.

 

Just a thought.

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

got to sit next to a dirty old corporation man on a date with his 18 year old intern

IRL, baby.  Sounds like fun. If you only knew the crap I used to deal with at my local cinema screen back in the 70's and 80's.  I fondly remember certain antics at the screening of "The Cannonball Run."  Or may it was "Any Which Way But Loose."  (Can't remember, doesn't matter)

Of course, the fact that my 2nd run cinema used to be a XXX adult theatre probably didn't help.

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Nice CGI and cinematography weren't enough; I found it clichéd, and lacking emotional engagement. The sound was big, but I thought a bit too big - rather than subtly shaping the mood, it seemed to be a bit over the top at times. The film was pretty squarely pitched at a male audience and I doubt many women will like it. The evil chap badly needed to see both an ophthalmologist for his cataracts and a psychologist for his narcissistic sadism. Not to mention a hairdresser. If the batteries in his jellybeans went flat he'd have been bumping into walls. But who knows, his attributes might make him a good candidate for public office. There were some interesting plot manoeuvres and ideas here and there to keep it tenuously interesting, but it was difficult for me to find great appeal in the lead character, who barely changed his facial expressions throughout, wether he was bashing through walls, taking a hit to the guts, or contemplating his navel (that might have been the point given what that character was, but it's a pretty tricky position from which to engage the audience). The story's underlying plot was typical good vs evil, with an identity crisis thrown in for good measure. I'm sure the film will develop a following, and perhaps a more sophisticated audience will get more from it than I did, but I suspect it lacks a sufficiently compelling story, characters, and appeal to make it widely popular.

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Its 2 hours 43 minutes and the early audience returns show its skewing heavily male, not a formula for huge numbers in the U.S. Its getting good reviews so it may have legs, but $100m domestic seems like a tough number to hit.

It will need to do big business in places like China to break even and that doesn't seem likely as R-rated dramas don't play/translate as well as comic book movies, animation, and Fast Furious action stuff.

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4 hours ago, That Guy said:

they didn't spend 400 million, the 400 is the break even point.

That's not very reliable. Studios doesn't release marketing budgets.

 

"Those affiliated with the movie have been saying that $400M is the magic break-even number" - what does that even mean?

I would guess that is more of a "goal" than an actual break-even point.

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5 minutes ago, meudig said:

"Those affiliated with the movie have been saying that $400M is the magic break-even number" - what does that even mean?

I would guess that is more of a "goal" than an actual break-even point.

Well break-even would suggest that for the movie to make a profit, it has to do over $400m from ticket sales, blu-ray and merch, doesn't it?

So box office isn't everything and yes bomb maybe too strong a word but the problem is clearly illustrated

Hollywood will kill its own product if it carries on like this chasing $400m returns on art.

Because it's an impossible business model and the only way this level of greed can be maintained is by churning out branded, franchised, heavily marketed lowest common denominated trash for the masses.

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Deakins never used anamorphic. he's a dogmatic i am effraid. Yet I was affraid i would miss it and I didn't. The movie is nothing short of spectacular. It's a masterpiece on so many levels. 

But obviously its cost is way too high. Nevertheless I am happy they spent too much money on such a refined film. In the history of cinema it will outlast a bunch of very profitable yet forgettable movies. Just like the first movie did.

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2 hours ago, meudig said:

"Those affiliated with the movie have been saying that $400M is the magic break-even number" - what does that even mean?

I would guess that is more of a "goal" than an actual break-even point.

If the budget was around 155M$, then 400M$ is a reasonable break-even figure. Producers/Studios generally receive an average of 50% of the gross Box Office (the other half is what distributors amd cinemas keep). It is an old rule of thumb that movies need to make between 2 to 2,5 times their budget to break even, depending on marketing expenses and distribution deals.

According to this, Blade Runner 2049's marketing expenses would have been less than 35M$ which frankly seems to make sense given the media presence and promotion has been OK but not huge... In addition nowadays there are many movies in which most of the marketing budget come from pre-opening campaigns by "affiliate brands". I remember Men In Black 2 had a crazy high marketing budget -for its time- but it was mostly paid for by Mercedes-Benz and Burger King. Minority Report also had important sponsorship and product placement deals with big brands -Nokia and Audi, I believe-. I don't know about Blade Runner 2049, but wouldn't be surprised if the marketing budget had been tied to the agreements they managed to sign.

Truth is 35$M is a poor opening, but we have no idea how long its legs will be (8.7 on ImDB) or how well it can go in international markets... we'll see!

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There's quite a lot of product placement in the movie... Sony, Atari, Peugeot, Jonny Walkers and more, so that will have paid for some of the marketing efforts at least.

There's far too much greed involved and if the movie would have been made for $20m on Netflix it would have been just as good, provided they had the same core crew and cast.

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