Blade Runner 2049

After lackluster box office, Blade Runner 2049 finds its legs on home video

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Feb 23, 2021, 1:50 PM EST (Updated)

Looks like Blade Runner 2049 may not be the bomb that some box office hawks believed it to be. It just took a little longer to find its audience.

Sure, Warner Bros. spent an estimated $300 million on making and marketing Denis Villeneuve’s much-anticipated follow-up to Ridley Scott’s cult classic, Blade Runner, but the studio fell short of making that up at the box office, with a disappointing $92 million in the U.S. and $259 million worldwide. But there’s more than one way to make money off a film.

According to The Numbers, “where data and the movie business meet,” Blade Runner 2049 is third best-selling video title in the U.S. this year, with almost a million units moved, adding up to some $21.7 million in consumer spending. That includes $3.8 million in DVD sales (which went on sale at the end of 2017) and $17.9 million in Blu-ray sales (since being made available on Jan. 16.)

You might not expect such a long-tail sales trajectory from a movie that was released in early October, but the film’s positive reviews, word of mouth, and Oscar love could help explain that. As such, Blade Runner 2049 has found a new life at the top of the heap, trailing just Stephen King’s It (1,447,093 units sold, $30.9 consumer spending) and Wonder (1,043,232, $16.8) as far as units sold go, and just behind It for the biggest money maker. 

Blade Runner 2049’s predecessor was by no means a box office smash back in 1982, with just over $32.8 million worldwide. Since then, though, Scott’s film has become a cult classic, and must-see sci-fi. So who knows, perhaps Villeneuve’s slow-burner can replicate its predecessor’s shelf life.

(via IndieWire)