Some in Hollywood hoped that Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 would do for the science fiction genre and the October box office what It did for horror movies and September ticket sales, but the Blade Runner sequel, which was expected to open with at least $50 million, limped to victory with an estimated $31.5 million, and with Fox’s adult drama The Mountain Between Us and Lionsgate’s animated My Little Pony feature, both opening below expectations, the total box office was down 13% from the same weekend last year when Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children opened with $28.9 million.

Blade Runner 2049 currently has an excellent 89% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but, when it comes to genre movies, audiences don’t always agree with critics.  After all Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner was a box office flop 35 years ago that has morphed into a “classic” thanks in part to numerous iterations of the film that were released on video.  And, while Villeneuve’s previous science fiction film Arrival was a hit with critics, and earned $100 million at the domestic box office, it was a very cerebral science fiction film that benefited from a long run that was enhanced by award nominations.

While Blade Runner 2049 might also end up with around $100 million in ticket sales here in North America, the film’s $155 million production cost means that it would have to perform like a Star Wars movie to turn a handsome profit, and even though Blade Runner is the kind of length immersive poetic science fiction that this writer loves and thinks will have some “legs” in the marketplace, it is still doubtful to see how this new Blade Runner film makes it into the black.  The film’s big hope for success overseas, and its final fate won’t be known until it opens in China in early November.

Those who saw Blade Runner 2049 did give it a solid “A-“ CinemaScore, which does bode well for the film’s chances in the coming weeks, but the movie’s opening weekend demographics were problematic.  It skewed heavily male (71%) and very much older with 63% of the crowd over 35.  Now older folks do take their time getting to cinemas, but that positive note is balanced by the negative of the film’s nearly 3-hour running time, which limits showings (and consequently grosses).

Second place went to the Fox release The Mountain Between Us, a “romantic survival drama” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet that has so far failed to connect with either the critics (just a 46% positive rating on RT), or mainstream audiences, as it debuted with just $10.1 million from over 3,000 theaters for a mediocre $3,271 average.   Those who saw the film did give it a solid “A-“ CinemaScore, so there is some hope for future weeks, though there will lots of competition for the adult audience.   Predictably, the crowd for The Mountain Between Us skewed female (58%) and older with 81% over 25.

Third place belongs to It, the horror movie that single-handedly turned the September box office around.  Now in its fifth week in theaters, It earned $9.7 million to bring its domestic total to a massive $304.9 million, and It added $19.8 million overseas to bring the film’s global total to $603.7 million, making It the biggest international horror film release of all time (not accounting for inflation of course, but still a great achievement for a film that cost just $35 million to make).

Weekend Box Office (Studio Estimates): October 6-8, 2017


Weekend Gross



Total Gross



Blade Runner 2049







The Mountain Between Us














My Little Pony: The Movie







Kingsman: The Golden Circle







American Made







The LEGO Ninjago Movie







Victoria and Abdul














Battle of the Sexes






Debuting at #4 was the animated film My Little Pony: The Movie, which is based on the popular My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic TV series.  My Little Pony: The Movie is the latest of 2017’s animated films to disappoint at the box office, earning just $8.8 million from over 2,500 theaters for a mediocre $3,481 average.  Overseas the film opened in 49 markets, but earned just $3.8 million.  Audiences skewed female (59%), with just 51% of the crowd over 25.

The comic book-based Kingsman: The Golden Circle landed at #5, earning $8.1 to bring its domestic total to nearly $80 million.  While it won’t quite match the first Kingsman movie’s total here in North America, The Golden Circle does have a shot at earning $100 million here.

The Tom Cruise-starring American Made dropped to #6 in its second weekend as it earned $8 million to bring its domestic total to $30.4 million.  This $50 million production will have to depend on overseas earnings to make its money back.

The bottom half of the top ten includes the highly disappointing animated feature The LEGO Ninjaog Movie, the DOA remake of Flatliners, and the well-reviewed  Bobby Riggs/Billie jean King saga, The Battle of the Sexes, which apparently almost no one wants to revisit.

The lone quasi-bright spot in the bottom half of the top ten was Stephen Frears’ period drama Victoria and Abdul, which expanded to 762 theaters and earned $4.1 million.  This is the sort of adult drama that does well at awards time, though it won’t likely ever make it out of the bottom rungs of the top ten.

Be sure to check back here next week to see what happens when Blumhouse releases the slasher movie Happy Death Day, and STX unleashes Jackie Chan in the action-packed thriller The Foreigner.