In its second frame, Blade Runner 2049 is looking at a major tumble down the top five at the box office. By the end of yesterday, the Denis Villeneuve-helmed sequel had picked up a relatively paltry $4.3 million, placing it in third place behind two new openers that have had next to no marketing in comparison to the would-be blockbuster. There are more than a few reasons for this but its failure to secure the number one spot in its second frame has almost nothing to do with the content or marketing for Villeneuve’s film.
For those who have not worshipped at the alter of Ridley Scott‘s dazzling Blade Runner for the last few decades, Blade Runner 2049 must have looked a bit turgid, lacking the frivolity and humor that many audience members are enticed by in trailers. That’s what Happy Death Day, the latest little-horror-movie-that-could from Blumhouse, had in spades and its likely why it now looks like a lock for the number one spot this weekend with $11.6 million coming in on Friday alone. It’s also a horror movie, which does well with the Friday night crowds, but the hook of the film is a clever take on the Groundhog Day premise. Here, a young woman must relive the last day of her life until she reveals her killer, and that seemingly minor twist on the slasher-flick formula was likely what brought audiences into the theater.
One could blame little more than the star power of Jackie Chan in explaining how Martin Campbell‘s The Foreigner also beat out Blade Runner 2049 at the box office this Friday. To be fair, The Foreigner is currently in second place with $4.7 million, which is only $400,000 more than what Blade Runner 2049 has taken in so far this weekend. Depending on how today and tomorrow go, Villeneuve’s film may still be able to grab the second spot but its still surprising and disappointing that a movie with genuine vision is losing to a lousy, boring action movie only enlivened by Chan’s presence. It and The Mountain Between Us have brought in $1.9 million and $1.6 million at the box office respectively to come in at fourth and fifth on Friday, which puts them in a run-off as well. Both races are still totally up for grabs but the major lesson here is one that we’ve seen twice already with Blumhouse this year: small budgets and clever premises are a safer, smarter bet than the $100 million-plus juggernauts that stride alongside them.
Here’s your top five for Friday:
|Title||Friday Domestic BO||Total Domestic BO|
|1. ‘Happy Death Day’||$11,600,000||$11,600,000|
|2. ‘The Foreigner’||$4,750,000||$4,750,000|
|3. ‘Blade Runner 2049’||$4,315,000||$49,793,387|
|5. ‘The Mountain Between Us’||$1,685,821||$16,537,922|