Box-Office Preview: 'Blade Runner 2049' Targets $45M-Plus U.S. Launch

'The Mountain Between Us,' starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, and animated family film 'My Little Pony' also open nationwide.

The long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 cult classic Blade Runner will have no trouble racing to the top of the box-office chart in its debut this weekend, but can the sci-fi epic succeed in launching a new franchise?

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, the R-rated Blade Runner 2049 is projected to open to $45 million or more in North America. It is also rolling out in almost every international market this weekend, save for China, Japan and South Korea, and could easily clear $100 million globally by Sunday.

Alcon Entertainment developed and holds worldwide rights to the big-budget follow-up, which stars Ryan Gosling opposite Harrison Ford, who reprises his original role as Rick Deckard. Warner Bros. is handling Blade Runner 2049 domestically, while Sony, which co-financed the $150 million movie, has international duties.

Blade Runner 2049, with a hefty running time of 163 minutes, currently sports an enviable 94 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The supporting cast includes Dave Bautista, Robin Wright and Ana de Armas.

Elsewhere, Lionsgate and Hasbro's animated family film My Little Pony is projected to launch in the $12 million-$15 million range. The voice cast includes Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Pena, Uzo Aduba, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs and Sia.

Fox 2000's adventure-drama The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, is tipped to gross a modest $12 million-plus in its nationwide debut. Based on Charles Martin's novel, the story follows two travelers who are stranded in the wilderness following a plane crash. The movie hopes to lure older females, much as previous October release Gone Girl did in 2014.

At the specialty box office, Focus Features expands Stephen Frears' royal biographical drama Victoria & Abdul into a total of 750 theaters, while A24 launches fellow awards hopeful The Florida Project in select markets.