Sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 has bombed at the Chinese box office after a dismal opening weekend in the Middle Kingdom.
Released October 27 — two weeks ahead of schedule — Denis Villeneuve's latest film was initially projected to earn roughly between RMB55-60 million over its maiden weekend in China, amounting to the rather meager USD8.3-9 million. Instead, it only brought in USD7.5 million (RMB49.7 million).
This is against a budget thought to be between USD150-180 million (RMB995 million - 1.2 billion).
Having also underperformed at the US box office, the film's producers and distributors were hoping that the world's second largest film market would be able to help save the science fiction film.
Ryan Gosling stars in the Blade Runner sequel.
Other Hollywood films released earlier this year have fared much better in the Middle Kingdom.
The latest entry in the Fast & Furious franchise, for example, opened with an impressive USD184 million, while Transformers: The Last Knight enjoyed an opening weekend gross just shy of USD120 million.
Thor: Rangnorok, which debuted last Friday, is estimated to have earned RMB55.6 million (RMB369 million) over the weekend, which would make it China's largest ever November release.
Even though Blade Runner 2049 has been universally acclaimed, impressive reviews don't appear to be enough to save the film.
A slew of factors could have attributed to the film's underperformance, from its lengthy running time to the extensive gap between the original film and its sequel. Its budget is also being blamed.
Whatever the reason, it is pretty clear that the film won't match the phenomenal success of Wolf Warrior 2, which began the highest-grossing film in China's history.
Whether Blade Runner 2049 can turn things around in the coming weeks seems unlikely, but only time will tell.
[Images via IMDB]