Hollywood doesn’t take big risks very often, so it’s always dispiriting when a picture as well-received as “Blade Runner 2049” just doesn’t connect with an audience. The underwhelming box office surprised even Warner Bros., and there has been plenty of second-guessing about the film’s rollout. Was the studio wise to play enigmatic with the marketing? Did Denis Villeneuve cut off the chances of his film reaching a wide audience by having critics stick to a strict playbook about what plot details they could reveal?
Speaking with Vulture, the director addresses the disappointing box office for the movie, and once again elaborates his reasoning for keeping “Blade Runner 2049” under a shroud of secrecy.
“As a filmmaker, I’m not arrogant,” he said. “People put a lot of money in the movie to allow me to make something like ‘Blade Runner.’ They trusted me, and they gave me a lot of freedom, and they are friends. So of course I want the movie to be a success at the end of the day. It’s a long journey, but I want them not to lose money.”
That said, some have argued that Villeneuve was too severe with his plot synopsis embargo, which included not revealing that Ryan Gosling‘s Officer K is a replicant, an element the movie makes clear within the opening minutes.
“I liked the idea that you were supposed to learn it as the movie goes on,” he explained, adding, “As a cinephile, one of my best experiences was when I was on a film festival jury. I had to watch 20 movies without knowing anything about them. You don’t know the genre, you don’t know the country, you don’t know the story. You don’t know if you’re about to look at a comedy or a horror movie!”
“… people want to know too many things before. They should read about the movie after they see it, not before,” Villeneuve, who is not a fan of spoiler culture, also said.
There is no doubt that watching “Blade Runner 2049” and knowing little about what you’re about to see is a rare blockbuster experience, but it might have come at the cost of the film’s success. Thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.