6:57am PT by Pamela McClintock
'Blade Runner 2049' Tracking for $40M-Plus U.S. Debut
Blade Runner 2049 is looking sharp.
The long-gestating sequel to Ridley Scott's iconic 1982 sci-fi epic is tracking to open to $40 million or more in North America when it hits theaters on Oct. 6, according to early prerelease surveys. Alcon Entertainment and Sony co-financed the film. Warner Bros. is handling the movie domestically, while Sony has international duties.
Blade Runner 2049 is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Arrival). Ryan Gosling stars opposite Harrison Ford, who reprises his role as Rick Deckard. Dave Bautista, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James and Carla Juri also star.
The 35-year span between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 is one of the longest gaps between movies. The sequel is believed to have cost well north of $150 million, with one source begging the net production budget at $185 million.
From a script by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, the story follows a new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer K (Gosling), who uncovers a dark secret that leads him to find Officer Deckard, who disappeared 30 years earlier. Fancher and Green have said they consider 2049 an expansion of a universe, rather than strictly a continuation.
October has become a popular landing pad for sci-fi fare in past years, including Warner Bros.' Gravity and Fox's The Martian, directed by Scott. In 2016, Villeneuve's Arrival debuted to $24.1 million in North America.
Sept. 14, 12 p.m. Updated with revised budget figures.