Long Range Forecast: ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘The Mountain Between Us,’ & ‘My Little Pony’

This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast takes an initial look at the long-gestating Blade Runner sequel, set for release on October 6. Our thoughts and other updated forecasts:

Blade Runner 2049
Warner Bros.

PROS:

  • Since its release 35 years ago, Blade Runner has become regarded as a seminal piece of work in the realm of science fiction cinema. With its fans now spanning multiple generations, curiosity and anticipation are driving significant interest in this sequel.
  • Ryan Gosling is fresh off another acclaimed role in the hugely successful La La Land, on top of his already impressive resume. He could be a key factor in helping this film appeal beyond the target adult male audience, while the return of Harrison Ford will also excite his own fan base.
  • Director Denis Villenueve is similarly riding momentum from last year’s Oscar-nominated Arrival. His own fan base has been building in recent years thanks to the critical and commercial reception of that film, Sicario, and Prisoners.
  • The film’s initial trailer campaign has intrigued audiences and excited fans. Across social media, the sequel’s Twitter footprint has recently been on par with Alien: Covenant and significantly ahead of Mad Max: Fury Road at the same point before release.
  • October has proven in recent years that it’s capable of hosting successful genre films that would have been saved for summer or holiday releases in decades past. Examples: the blockbuster success of films like Gravity and The Martian. The lack of significant and direct competition opening after it until November could be an advantage for staying power if mainstream audiences latch onto the film.

CONS:

  • Although held in high regard within film circles, the original Blade Runner was certainly far more niche in its time than other sci-fi blockbusters of the 1980s era. Its original $28 million domestic run in 1982 was quite modest, ranking 27th for the year. If this sequel embraces a similarly esoteric story, mainstream appeal beyond opening weekend could be somewhat limited.
  • Facebook growth has been stagnant recently, making it something to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. Still, with nearly 1.4 million total fans so far, it has tripled the number of ‘likes’ Mad Max: Fury Road generated by the same two-month pre-release window.
  • This film’s release on October 6 will mark the fourth consecutive weekend featuring an opener targeted heavily toward adult males, following September 15’s American Assassin, September 22’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and September 29’s American Made. Maintaining strong marketing — as well as buzz from early screenings and critics — will be important toward the goal of meeting its full potential on opening weekend.

This Week’s Other Additions

  • Following the release of its first trailer, our initial forecast for Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (Paramount) is now included in the table below. Although we expect his fan base to turn out, the increasing potential of It one week earlier may limit audience reach for the Jennifer Lawrence vehicle.
  • The Mountain Between Us (Fox), also debuting on October 6, is currently generating lukewarm social media activity. That’s not a major concern given its nature as a relatively small profile release, but our expectations are modest for now. On the upside, it could prove to be a solid counter-programmer among women.
  • My Little Pony (Lionsgate) will also debut the same weekend, although the studio’s history with animated titles leaves us on the conservative side. With LEGO Ninjago likely to still be doing solid business in its third weekend at this time, this film will be relying mainly on mothers with young daughters.

The Long Range Forecast:

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
8/18/2017 The Hitman’s Bodyguard $17,500,000 -8% $51,000,000 -11% 3,000 Lionsgate / Summit
8/18/2017 Logan Lucky $12,000,000 $39,000,000 2,400 Bleecker Street
8/25/2017 All Saints $4,000,000 $14,500,000 21% 1,000 Sony / Columbia
8/25/2017 Birth of the Dragon $2,500,000 $5,500,000 700 BH Tilt
8/25/2017 Leap! $4,250,000 -6% $14,900,000 -6% 2,100 The Weinstein Company
9/8/2017 Home Again $12,000,000 $45,000,000 Open Road Films
9/8/2017 It $46,000,000 15% $115,000,000 15% Warner Bros. / New Line
9/15/2017 All I See Is You $6,500,000 $15,600,000 Open Road
9/15/2017 American Assassin $11,500,000 15% $29,000,000 16% Lionsgate
9/15/2017 mother! $10,500,000 NEW $27,000,000 NEW Paramount
9/22/2017 Friend Request n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
9/22/2017 Kingsman: The Golden Circle $39,000,000 $100,000,000 Fox
9/22/2017 The LEGO Ninjago Movie $40,000,000 $138,000,000 Warner Bros.
9/29/2017 American Made $15,000,000 $50,500,000 Universal
9/29/2017 Flatliners (2017) $11,000,000 $26,000,000 Sony / Screen Gems
9/29/2017 A Question of Faith n/a n/a Pure Flix
10/6/2017 Blade Runner 2049 $44,000,000 NEW $115,000,000 NEW Warner Bros.
10/6/2017 The Mountain Between Us $8,000,000 NEW $25,000,000 NEW Fox
10/6/2017 My Little Pony (2017) $7,500,000 NEW $21,500,000 NEW Lionsgate

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

23 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Matt D. August 11, 2017

    Still too low on It & Kingsman. I think It will open with about $55 M and finish around $140 M. Kingsman: The Golden Circle will hopefully perform (box office wise) like last year’s Jason Bourne with an opening around $60 M and finish around $160 M. I also think American Assassin will make about $15 M OW and finish around $40 M. Still way too high on The LEGO Ninjago Movie. I highly agree on the Blade Runner 2049 prediction. It could also perform like Alien: Covenant and make less than predicted.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    John August 11, 2017

    That is way too ridicuosly low for Mother! I’m expecting $20 million OW at worst even with competition from IT. The trailer views have been amazing, JLaw’s drawing power plus potentially amazing reviews could lead this to be a Get Out type hit

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin August 11, 2017

      mother! seems too familiar to It Comes at Night and looks like 2017’s Crimson Peak, but with competition from an actual mainstream horror film. You know what? mother! kind of sounds like Morgan from last year, where people had kind of high expectations based on the talent involved, but it failed somehow. I’m sorry, mother! does not look like a good movie, and I can’t bring myself to say it’ll open above a $15 million maximum and it’ll hold better than a 56% drop.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        John August 12, 2017

        I’m sorry your reasons for Mother not doing well are not good, especially since it is likely to get great reviews. That would increase the box office for it substantially. Watch and see

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    Kimbo Slice August 11, 2017

    Hitmans Bodyguard isnt going to impress. Reynolds has always had a problem attracting an audience outside of Deadpool. And Sam Jackson is in so many movies the quality of them is very spotty. I’m projecting $12 million.

    Lucky Logan may surprise due to good reviews. But the low theatre number will prevent a big breakout.

    That’s a big prediction for IT. And I’m ok with it. The trailers have been really good. Hope the movie turns out.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      John August 11, 2017

      Logan Lucky doesnt need to be huge to be a hit as it already made its money back by bypassing the traditional studio marketing. I think the opening is about right but it should have good legs

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Daniel. A August 11, 2017

    mother! prediction is way to low. $25 Million Opening weekend and it’ll have really good legs and make around $100 WW like Black Swan.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    X-Man August 11, 2017

    Blade Runner will do Ghost In The Shell numbers

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    J August 11, 2017

    Blade Runner 2(049) is too high. It might do 25-30 million. Mother! will probably do around 12-15 million.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Reece August 13, 2017

      It will most likely be a very critically acclaimed movie (given Denis Villeneuve is manning the camera) which will add gross..

      Blade Runner has become a well-established name of the Sci-Fi genre, so there’s tons of a people who are already going to see this no matter what.

      Arrival broke 100$ million last year, I think this certainly can

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Austin August 14, 2017

        It depends on the opening. My projections are that Blade Runner 2049 will be front-loaded, but great reviews could mean a great deal. Without good reviews, an opening of at least $37 million will be necessary to reach $100 million; with good and maybe great reviews, an opening of at least $30 million may do the trick. Overall, I’ll wait for the reviews to come out before confirming whether or not it’ll reach $100 million.

        Reply
  7. Avatar
    navtej singh August 11, 2017

    IT’s gonna be a monster, it’s star wars of horror movies

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Austin August 11, 2017

    With a 50% on RT, Hitman’s Bodyguard may attract an action audience, but my forecast is down to $16 million. If the hot streak of good reviews continues, Lucky Logan could be solid competition against it.
    Lego Ninjago could find an opening slightly higher than the forecast and Kingsman 2 should see a $40-45 million opening provided it earns great reviews. IT is looking at a $50 million opening and maybe even upwards of $57 million provided IT has good reviews. All saints is still too low in my view while Flatliners is a bit too high.
    I’m very uncertain about Lionsgate’s My Little Pony, because it has the near impossible task of diverting audiences away from Lego Ninjago. Lionsgate’s animated department has a horrible track record that may carry over into this film too. I call a $5 million opening for it.
    Even with a talented director and the return of Harrison Ford, this movie has some choppy seas to cross. It has an R-rating, which is a critical first step for it. Next, it has to combat existing skepticism about it when faced with comparisons to the first one. First screenings and positive reviews will save this movie. For now, I call $30-35 million.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Roo August 12, 2017

    One likely thing though I see that has MLP going higher are the Bronies. I would aim for $12 million.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Reece August 12, 2017

    WOW, My Little Pony forecast is WAYYYYYY to low. I don’t think this website understands the massive following of that show. My Little Pony (the newer series) is literally one of the most popular cartoons on the air right now. And the whole “Brony” culture, there’s a large audience of all ages that are just dying to see this movie.. I’m not a member of that group, but I have so many friends that are who are really hype for it. I’d say it’ll break $80+million. Look at the South park movie for comparison.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Sagar Pattar August 13, 2017

    I’m going to be doing a bold prediction.

    IT – 70 Million Opening Weekend
    – The hype is getting big. If reviews are good, the projection may come true.

    Lego Ninjago – 42 Million Opening Weekend
    Kingsman – 48 Million Opening Weekend
    – If reviews are good.
    Blade Runner 2049 – 34 Million Opening Weekend
    My Little Pony – 18 ‘Million Opening Weekend

    Sorry if it’s really bold.

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    DangerS August 13, 2017

    IT could get up to $60M or so OW especially if word of mouth is strong. Kingsman will be bigger.
    As for Blade Runner, I was expecting a pretty big opening at $60-70M and a total of $180-220M but you might be right.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      J-Diggle August 13, 2017

      South Park struggled to get to $52m at the height of it’s popularity. I’d say that’s more of a fair estimate for MLP than $80m.

      Reply
  13. Avatar
    mark August 13, 2017

    Oh please tell me Tom Six is directing my little pony.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin August 14, 2017

      Actually, Jayson Thiesson is directing My Little Pony (2017).

      Reply
  14. Avatar
    Mark August 14, 2017

    That My Little Pony forecast seems super low, given the social media hype for it as well as the fanbase that spans demographics. What was the estimated production budget of it, again? Is it simply because Lionsgate put out two animated clunkers (Rock Dog and Norm of the North) within the past few years?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Austin August 16, 2017

      Three. Lionsgate’s animation department did Norm of the North, Rock Dog, and The Wild Life prior to tackling My Little Pony. Unlike their past efforts, Lionsgate is tapping into an established property, perhaps to finally put their animated movies on the map. On the flip side though, having an established property associated with an infamous studio does no favors, and having very subpar animation compared to other animated movies might exaggerate the problem. Even Blue Sky realized they had to modernize the animation of the Charlie Brown show quite a bit when making The Peanuts Movie, and they didn’t have to compromise the animation style to do such. I think that is the difference between an animated TV show/direct-to-DVD release and an animated movie released in theaters. Sure, the argument still exists that My Little Pony can serve as counter-programming to LEGO Ninjago, but it’s clear that Lionsgate can’t afford better animation that it needs, which will hamper their efforts to counter-program in order to earn any more than a $15 million OW. I’m expecting something under $10 million for now though.

      Reply
  15. Avatar
    Alan August 14, 2017

    The estimate on My Little Pony seems low.

    Reply

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