The numbers just aren’t adding up for “Blade Runner 2049.” Currently sitting at $248 million, the blockbuster sci-fi sequel reportedly needed to make $400 million worldwide to break even. The film, which cost $155 million before marketing, is expected to lose upwards of $80 million for production company Alcon Entertainment and the various investors who backed the picture. It’s all a bit mystifying for a movie that was so well received by critics, and even director Denis Villeneuve is still puzzling it out.
“I’m still digesting it,” told Yahoo Entertainment during a Facebook Live interview. “We had the best [critics’ reviews]. I’ve never had a movie welcomed like that. At the same time the box office in the United States was a disappointment, that’s true, because those movies are expensive. It will still make tons of money, but not enough.”
“I think because maybe people were not familiar enough with the universe. And the fact that the movie’s long [its run time is 2 hours, 44 minutes]. I don’t know. It’s still a mystery to me. I make movies — I don’t sell them,” Villeneuve continued.
Well, it remains to be seen if the movie will wind up being profitable — probably eventually once home video, VOD, and cable monies start rolling in — but the filmmaker does acknowledge some criticisms that have been rumbling since the movie opened. The nearly three-hour running time has been a bone of contention for some, while it’s arguable that the show-don’t-tell marketing — which included hiding that Ryan Gosling is a replicant, even though it’s revealed in the opening moments of the movie — did “Blade Runner 2049” no favors.
Villeneuve will likely continue to unpack all of this as he moves on to his next movie. While has been rumored for James Bond, the director told us “Dune” has his focus right now, and you can forget about David Lynch‘s 1984 adaptation — this one will be pure Villeneuve.
“David Lynch did an adaptation in the ’80s that has some very strong qualities. I mean, David Lynch is one of the best filmmakers alive, I have massive respect for him,” he said. “But when I saw his adaptation, I was impressed, but it was not what I had dreamed of, so I’m trying to make the adaptation of my dreams.”
“It will not have any link with the David Lynch movie,” he added Villeneuve. “I’m going back to the book, and going to the images that came out when I read it.”
Frankly, that’s exactly how we want “Dune” to be delivered — a new vision, from a filmmaker with endless imagination. Watch the full conversation with Villeneuve below.