Weekend Box Office: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Earns $4M in Thursday Previews

The sequel opens opposite Idris Elba and Kate Winslet’s ‘Mountain Between Us’ and the animated ‘My Little Pony’ movie.

Blade Runner 2049 kicked off its opening weekend at the North American box office with $4 million in Thursday-night previews — $800,000 of which was earned from its IMAX showings.

The Alcon, Warner Bros. and Sony sequel to the Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi thriller takes place several decades after the original, with Harrison Ford once again playing Rick Deckard, the former blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. This time, Ryan Gosling plays LAPD Officer K, who tracks down Ford’s Deckard to help him take down a new enemy (Jared Leto) and his replicants. Denis Villeneuve directs the follow-up, also starring Dave Bautista, Robin Wright and Ana de Armas. It earned very strong reviews and currently has a fresh rating of 90 on Rotten Tomatoes.

Blade Runner 2049’s showing beat the initial debut of The Martian, which earned $2.5 million in Thursday-night screenings at 2,800 locations on the same weekend in 2015. It also bested the $1.4 million earned in Thursday previews by Gravity in early October 2013.

This weekend, Blade Runner 2049 opens in 4,058 theaters and is projected to gross $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.

Fox 2000’s romantic drama The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, earned $400,000 on Thursday night when it opened at 2,535 theaters. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the film centers on two travelers who survive a tragic plane crash but find themselves stranded in the winder wilderness. Beau Bridges and Dermot Mulroney are also among the cast. It is tipped to gross a modest $12 million-plus in its nationwide debut, opening in 3,088 locations.

Lionsgate’s My Little Pony grossed an estimated $290,000 in preview screenings at over 1,800 theaters. The animated movie puts Hasbro’s magical horses on the big screen with the voices of Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Pena, Uzo Aduba, Live Schrieber, Taye Diggs and Sia. Directed by Jayson Theissen, the supervising director of the TV series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, it is projected to launch in the $12 million-$15 million range.

Elsewhere, Quality Flix releases its dog-centric family film The Stray in 630 theaters. Focus Features’ Victoria and Abdul is rolling out nationwide to 750 theaters after debuting in four theaters last month.

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