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30th Anniversary of "Blade Runner" and "The Thing" (Why didn't they perform well?)


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#1
filmscholar

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Posted Image


Lifetime Gross: $32,868,943

Date Title (click to view) Gross 06/25/1982 Blade Runner $27,580,111 09/11/1992 Blade Runner (re-issue) $3,740,330 10/05/2007 Blade Runner: The Final Cut $1,548,502





Posted Image



Total Lifetime Grosses


Domestic: $19,629,760


That's right today 6/25/02 is the 30th Anniversary of two Sci-Fi Masterpieces. Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" and John Carpenter's "The Thing" both opened in theaters on this day. Both films got mixed reviews and performed poorly at the box office office. Neither got an international release to my knowledge. As both films entered the Home Video market, something happen. Both films got cult status and aged very well. Now 30 Years later, they are both certified Classic Movies with "Blade Runner" being called one of the greatest films of all time and "The Thing" joined Legendary Sci-Fi Horror's like "Alien" as one of the Best. What these film prove is that Box Office is not the final judge of a movie quality. Both Budgets weren't that high but they didn't make a profit.

So what happen? Why were two really great films so misunderstood? Why did audiences reject both at the box office? Many box office Historians blame it on that friendly Alien "E.T." which came on the big screen 2 weeks earlier and rampaged the Box Office and hurt everything after it in the way "The Avengers" has done today. Sure we can blame E.T. but both movies don't have a lot of action and are very slow paced so maybe Audiences just didn't connect. Reguardless Happy 30th Birthday to both. I saw "Blade Runner" a few months ago and it's such a great movie with many great themes. I watched "The Thing" (And sadly it's prequel from last year) over this weekend and wow has the movie aged very well. I'm happy Ridley and John got the last laugh.
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#2
baumer

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That's a tough one to answer. I'll put some thought into this and see if I can come up with something tangible.

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#3
Untitled Hatebox Project

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Blade Runner is my favourite film. But I'm not at all surprised at its box office take. In an era of Star Wars who would have wanted to see such a dark, pessimistic vision of the future?

Ultimately BR is an art-house film with blockbuster production values.

Edited by Hatebox, 25 June 2012 - 07:48 AM.

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#4
lab276

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Blade Runner is also a very slow film. For me at least, it was an acquired taste and I've only ever seen the Director's Cut. I haven't heard great things about the Theatrical Cut, so I'd imagine it didn't leave that much of an impression at first and it quickly died from poor WOM. And then you can factor in E.T.'s "friendly alien menace".

Both E.T. and Blade Runner are in my top five favourite films. I wasn't as impressed by The Thing, but it's not a bad film.

Edited by lab276, 25 June 2012 - 07:46 AM.


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I've always loved The Thing. But, like everyone else, I didn't discover it until video. My favorite Thing memory is meeting T.K. Carter in an Atlanta restaurant, and he seemed to think the waitresses put me up to "recognizing" him until I started spewing out his filmography - with The Thing and Dr. Detroit being my faves. I think he was incredibly thankful because he was with a very attractive lady at the time and wasn't getting any attention since they were also sitting with Lawrence Taylor.
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#6
Neo

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Last year's The Thing made 16M will the Blade Runner sequel be the same?

You need to check into rehab if you think TA2 isn't going to make a dent in AVATAR 2's box office

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Unless Cameron offers SMELL-O-VISION with AVATAR 2, It's not doing more than 400M Plus ..  And YES, I'll bet AVATAR 2 doesn't do more than at best 425M Domestic

 


#7
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Last year's The Thing made 16M will the Blade Runner sequel be the same?


I think if the BR sequel can make over 10m it should be seen as a hit. Over 16m would be fantastic, though.
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#8
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Some movies are just only appreciated after the fact, it happens all the time and there's no good answer/explanation...Memento, Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, etc, etc.

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E.T. made '82 the summer of happiness. BR and THE THING are two bleak films, adrift in a summer of lighter fare.

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Neo

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I think if the BR sequel can make over 10m it should be seen as a hit. Over 16m would be fantastic, though.

That would be a massive disappointment. Prometheus numbers should be the goal +/- 20M.

You need to check into rehab if you think TA2 isn't going to make a dent in AVATAR 2's box office

VII Predictions

 

Unless Cameron offers SMELL-O-VISION with AVATAR 2, It's not doing more than 400M Plus ..  And YES, I'll bet AVATAR 2 doesn't do more than at best 425M Domestic

 


#11
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Some movies are just only appreciated after the fact, it happens all the time and there's no good answer/explanation...Memento, Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, etc, etc.

This

#12
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That would be a massive disappointment. Prometheus numbers should be the goal +/- 20M.


I was kidding. Obviously a 10m total would be ridiculously bad.
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#13
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Some movies are just only appreciated after the fact, it happens all the time and there's no good answer/explanation...Memento, Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, etc, etc.


No.

All these movies could never have been big box office hits because of their darkness and violence.

Shawshank is just an exception, the movie could have been a monster sleeper hit but it didn't happen and it became a monster sleeper hit on video.

And Blade Runner and The Thing were appareciated in 1982 by the people who had the tools to understand them.

But people into hardcore sci fi or horror were not very many back then.

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redfirebird2008

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Some movies are just only appreciated after the fact, it happens all the time and there's no good answer/explanation...Memento, Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, etc, etc.


And sometimes it's just the studio screws up with distribution/marketing. I was watching the special features for Dazed and Confused the other day. The main producer for the film said Universal didn't believe in it enough to give it a wide release, so it got stuck with a small release (like many Independent films) even though it was a studio film. Sure enough it became a cult classic once it started airing on cable TV. The producer said he believed the film would have found its audience in theaters if the studio gave it a chance.

#15
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Watching the docmentary Dangerous Days, apparenlty BR had a big Friday and then collapsed on Saturday as WOM spread that it wasn't an action blockbuster like the marketing suggested it was. Having Harrison Ford as the lead probably gave a lot of false impressions too.

Again, this doesn't surprise me at all. I'm just glad it's now appreciated as the movie it is.

Edited by Hatebox, 25 June 2012 - 10:42 AM.

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#16
Ozymandias

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Bladerunner and The Thing(The Thing is one of the most suspenseful and intense movies I've ever seen) are just perfect examples of movies that get better with age, like a bottle of whisky/scotch.

With that said, I still don't get why they flopped though. They're amazing films.

Edited by Shpongle, 25 June 2012 - 11:22 AM.


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filmscholar

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E.T. made '82 the summer of happiness. BR and THE THING are two bleak films, adrift in a summer of lighter fare.


I really think this is it. BR and TT are just way to dark and gloomy that they just didn't find a commeical audience. They both probably would of done better if released during Nov or December in the holiday's. I think "The Thing" with it's winter setting would of been better to watch during the winter. "BR" suffered cause like historians said, "E.T." was just a cultural phenomenon and nothing could stop it. I'm happy both films are judged differently now. What's cool was watching "The Thing" over the weekend and the movie is very chilling till this day. It's sci-fi at it's finest. Here what was released during the summer of 1982:"BR" was 27th highest grossing of the year and "The Thing" was 41st highest grossing of the year. What's crazy is the original "Tron" though it under-performed also did better than "BR and TT" in 1982:

http://boxofficemojo...?yr=1982&p=.htm

Edited by filmscholar, 25 June 2012 - 11:47 AM.

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Bitcher

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That summer was goddamn epic. 4 of my favourite movies + STII, Poltergeist and Tron. You wouldn't see me walking out of the cinema if I lived In the US that year.
As for the topic: I guess BR suffered due to mediocre wom stemming from botched theatrical cut and it was also too slow and, uh, cerebral for general audience. It is sort of an acquired taste though I've always loved it. As for The Thing, that one is trickier. I mean, if people showed up for Alien, why wouldn't they show up for this? Maybe the season was just too crowded or the marketing didn't do an adequate job, it often comes down to that rather than the actual quality of the film.

#19
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THE THING was too nasty for mainstream audiences at the time; it was also a remake of a fairly popular film for many people growing up in the 50s.

And for BLADE RUNNER, they were expecting the Harrison Ford they knew from Indy and Star Wars -- and why not? That was his entire filmography at the time, essentially.

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#20
Bitcher

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THE THING was too nasty for mainstream audiences at the time; it was also a remake of a fairly popular film for many people growing up in the 50s.

Both things could be said about Cronenberg's The Fly and yet that movie did fairly well.


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