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Bringing back a beloved property can be tricky scenario. Will enough people remember the original film to warrant caring about a sequel? Did the original film tell a story that demanded a follow up? In the case of Sir Ridley Scott's dense and mysterious Blade Runner, the answer should be "Yes," pointing to raised awareness for next month's Blade Runner 2049. And now early indications are tracking for the sequel to be a big hit, continuing the success that Warner Bros. is seeing at the box office in 2017.
Harrison Ford returns to Blade Runner 2049, and his presence no doubt is helping push the opening-weekend estimates to around $40 million, according to a new report in Variety. The trade says that the sequel is appealing to "older men, especially those susceptible to nostalgia." No duh. But here's the thing: We have been hearing a LOT about Blade Runner 2049 behind the scenes, and the hook of this alleged masterpiece is that it's not a nod to the original so much as it's its own standalone story that expertly builds on the foundation of Ridley Scott's original world.
There are two reasons why we'd assume that Blade Runner 2049 would be able to establish it's own parameters without forcing itself on the hubris of the original Blade Runner. For one, the star of the new movie is Ryan Gosling, with Harrison Ford playing a smaller (but pivotal) supporting role.
Secondly, and most important, the director is the brilliant Denis Villeneuve, who is coming off of his own masterpiece in Arrival, and previously wowed audiences with his equally masterful Prisoners and Sicario. We have it on good authority that he is an avid student of Ridley Scott's original Blade Runner, and only agreed to direct the sequel when he knew that the story was going to be perfect. So far, it LOOKS amazing:
Blade Runner 2049 is also arriving in a spot that's between blockbusters. IT likely will be petering out by the time that it opens on October 6, and adult audiences will be looking for something stimulating. Blade Runner 2049 is going to park on IMAX screens, and attract audiences until Thor: Ragnarok, Bad Moms 2 and Justice League arrive. It could enjoy a massive October, especially if word of mouth is strong on it.