LOS ANGELES, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- American science fiction film "Blade Runner 2049" dominated North American box office with an estimated 31.5 million U.S. dollars in its opening weekend.
The sequel to the 1982 science fiction classic was co-financed by Alcon Entertainment and Sony with Warner Bros. handling domestic distribution and Sony releasing the film overseas. It reportedly had a budget of at least 150 million U.S. dollars.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, "Blade Runner 2049" has garnered great reviews, audience raves. But it actually fell short of expectations, which had been at least 45 million U.S. dollars for its opening weekend.
"Great early reviews and positive audience buzz caused box office expectations to be inflated and with the audience comprised mainly of males over 25, the crossover appeal to younger moviegoers and females did not materialize in order to bring in the expected dollars," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
"The very long running time also limits the number of showings per day," he added.
"That said, the rest of the month offers little direct competition and the sheer quality of the movie could ensure respectable long term prospects both in North America and most importantly in the international marketplace," Dergarabedian told Xinhua.
Another newcomer, 20th Century Fox's "The Mountain Between Us" opened in the second place with an estimated 10.1 million U.S. dollars. The romantic survival adventure film based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin is directed by Hany Abu-Assad and stars Beau Bridges and Dermot Mulroney.
Warner Bros.' horror film "It" moved to the third place this weekend with an estimated 9.6 million U.S. dollars, pushing its total to 304.9 million U.S. dollars after 31 days in North American theaters. It is now the highest grossing horror film internationally with a whopping 603.7 million U.S. dollars worldwide.
Lionsgate's animated musical fantasy film "My Little Pony: The Movie" landed in the fourth place with an estimated 8.8 million U.S. dollars in its opening weekend.
20th Century Fox's action spy film "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" finished fifth with an estimated 8.1 million U.S. dollars in its third weekend.