Talk about counterprogramming. Last weekend, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ came in well under expectations because it appealed strictly to fans of the original 1982 ‘Blade Runner’, meaning men over 25. That movie failed to attract many viewers under 25 and those that saw it didn’t like it.
This weekend, the $155 million+ sci fi epic, featuring big names like Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto and Harrison Ford, found itself slashed to the #2 spot by the $5M budgeted horror flick ‘Happy Death Day’ which featured zero stars. The difference being that ‘Happy Death Day’ appealed mainly to females under the age of 25 (actually, most were under the age of 20). Last weekend, ‘Blade Runner’ opened with $31.5M. This weekend, ‘Happy Death Day’ earned close to that with $26.5M. Once again, look at the budgets. ‘Blade Runner’ may make back its money with international sales, but ‘Happy Death Day’ has already made back five times its budget in just three days. This is another major win for Blumhouse– its third best opening title of the year behind ‘Split’ and ‘Get Out’.
The film benefited from great marketing. The trailer was played before juggernaut ‘It’ for six weeks prior to its opening and, courting its main audience, was tacked onto Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ music video on Youtube, which got 43M views within 24 hours of its release.
Jason Blum of Blumhouse released a statement:
“Chris Landon made an original, inventive film that really connected with the audience and had great word-of-mouth. I don’t think we’d be where we are this weekend without Universal’s incredible marketing campaign. They immediately understood the potential for this film and were all-in from the very beginning. We are thrilled people are embracing this movie.”
The other big release of the week is the Jackie Chan flick ‘The Foreigner’, a ‘Taken’-esque entry for the kung-fu action star. Chan is receiving praise for the most emotional role he has presented to American audiences. With $12.8M, it came in third, behind ‘Blade Runner’.
- Happy Death Day (Universal/Blumhouse) – $26.5M
- Blade Runner 2049 (Alcon Entertainment/Warner Brothers/Sony) – $15.1M
- The Foreigner (STX) – $12.84M
- It (New Line/Warner Brothers) – $6M
- The Mountain Between Us (20th Century Fox) – $5.65M
There’s nothing big opening next weekend. The only movie that has a shot at breaking big is ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2!: A Medea Halloween’. So… yeah.
Check back to see if Tyler Perry in drag can take down the low-budget ‘Happy Death Day’.