Why Did Blade Runner 2049 Flop?

Blade Runner 2049 has great reviews. Great visuals. So why is it not putting up big box office?

Well the pundits will point to a number of issues, but probably the main one is that Blade Runner never has been an action-oriented franchise. It’s on the very hard end of the sci-fi spectrum, somewhere well west of Star Trek (if Star Wars is your center). It’s a more challenging type of film in this genre.

Certainly no shortage of top talent here.


And while Ryan Gosling is a fairly well known actor who does a good job here, he’s not exactly a huge box office star, La La Land is the biggest hit of his career and that was more of a Oscar-darling. Harrison Ford’s star power couldn’t carry the original to big bucks in ’82 so that probably wasn’t going to change now either.

But really, Blade Runner 2049 is a very deliberately paced film, sometimes bordering on an art film at least by the standard of modern blockbuster far. And the 1982 original Blade Runner was much the same. We think both are tremendous films. I guess the real question is does any of this matter? Well some may point out that you probably won’t get a third Blade Runner movie any time soon, but we respond by saying “ok, and …?”.

The 1982 original Blade Runner wasn’t a huge box office darling either, but developed a big cult following.


The two films we have already are never going to go anywhere and that’s great to know. Sure we would like to spend more time in the world of Blade Runner, but this isn’t exactly a series that would work well as some kind of franchise tent pole with a new installment plopped out every two or three years. It’s just not that kind of story, perhaps even a third film might be pushing it a bit.

And yeah, while the movie may not make the box office that Warner Bros. was hoping for, Blade Runner 2049 is likely to become a big cult classic, much like the original. Those Blu-Ray sales will likely help too as this is a gorgeous looking film. And yes, twenty other films may break a profit this year, but will all twenty be remembered twenty years from now? Talked about and discussed? We bet Blade Runner 2049 will be.


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