Blade Runner 2049 fell flat on its face this weekend, despite the promise of a hunky star, sick action sequences, and a heavy helping of nostalgia. It seems like the problem was that the ladies weren’t buying it (tickets).
The New York Times reports that the movie only brought in $31.5 million in North America, which was 30 percent less than projected. Its turnout was gendered, according to a Warner Bros. executive, who acknowledged the core audience it attracted (bold mine):
“I’m disappointed,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros., which released the independently produced movie in the United States and Canada. “The real trick now is to expand the audience past older men.” Warner said that 71 percent of opening-weekend ticket buyers were male.
The film cost $200 million to make and is almost three hours long. Two Jezebel staffers did see it this weekend, so anecdotally, it was popular with some women. But 71 percent male ticket buyers! If the success of films like Wonder Woman isn’t enough to convince execs to make films for ladies, then perhaps the disappointment of Blade Runner 2049 will spur more development action. We have money! Take it!
Movies in general did pretty bad this summer, with the exception of Patty Jenkins’s flick and It. Make Pennywise a woman and you have your next smash hit. You’re welcome, Hollywood. Coming up behind Blade Runner 2049 at the box office was The Mountain Between Us, which brought in $10 million, and cost only $35 million to make. The marketing for that film was all over the place, and it is reportedly terrible, but it appealed to a heterosexual woman’s interest in watching Idris Elba for two hours.
Maybe Blade Runner 2049 needs to pull a trailer re-edit and show us more of Gosling’s face. Apparently, he gets punched in it a lot? One staffer commented that he “wore a very nice sweater” in the film. Smdh.