Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve believes the film’s disappointing box office is the reason it didn’t receive a Best Picture nod for the 2018 Oscars. Villeneuve bravely accepted the challenge of making a belated sequel to Blade Runner – one of the most celebrated sci-fi movies ever. The filmmaker passed the test with flying colors, producing a visually and thematically rich follow-up to the original.
Despite receiving rave reviews for the most part, Blade Runner 2049 still proved to be a box office flop for the studio and is estimated to have lost around $80 million. Villeneuve has spoken before of his surprise at the film’s failure while maintaining his pride in the end result. The film received well deserved Oscar nominations in five categories – including Cinematography and Production Design – but failed to receive nods for Best Picture, Director or Score.
Villeneuve has been discussing Blade Runner 2049’s nominations with CBC News, and feels the film’s mediocre numbers probably caused it a shot at Best Picture, stating “It’s very uncommon for a movie that didn’t do well at the box office in the United States to get a nomination for best picture.” The director is particularly disappointed the moody score wasn’t acknowledged, saying “I think what [composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch] did for the movie, the score of the movie, was by far one of the best this year.”
Many have speculated on the possible reasons for Blade Runner 2049’s disappointing box-office tally, citing the film’s long runtime, lack of action setpieces and the fact it’s a big budget sequel to a cult film. The movie’s producer Ridley Scott bluntly – and hilariously – forwarded his own theory on the movie’s performance, calling it “too slow” and “too long.”
Villeneuve isn’t hurting for work in the aftermath of the film’s performance though, and is due to tackle an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sprawling novel Dune next. He’s also attached to a racy, R-rated new Cleopatra film for Sony. The director was said to be a frontrunner for the James Bond 25 directing gig, but with his current full plate – and his plan to take a small break after filming so many projects back to back – he ruled himself out.
If he finds time in future he may also return for the planned third Sicario movie, with the film’s producer recently suggesting that was the plan. While Ridley Scott has revealed he has a concept for another sequel in mind, it seems Blade Runner 2049 will likely be the last film in the series for the time being, but its still a great film – without with out an Oscar nod.
Blade Runner 2049 is now available on digital and Blu-ray.