In terms of his English language movies, Denis Villeneuve is on one of the most impressive streaks in Hollywood right now. Enemy. Prisoners. Sicario. Arrival. Blade Runner 2049. The latter should have been a box office smash. It's a sequel to one of the most influential science fiction movies of all time, it stars Ryan Gosling AND brings back Harrison Ford in one of his most iconic roles. So why did it flop so hard financially?
The film is immaculately shot thanks to legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, who was awarded an Oscar for his efforts after fourteen previous snubs. The acting is top notch, and the movie also has quite an important social message to tell its audience, especially regarding the nature of humanity as well as society's treatment of women.
2049 is a worthy successor to the original, and claiming it is a superior film is not laughable in the slightest.
Ridley Scott himself attributed the lackluster box office performance to the 163 minute run time, which doesn't seem like that'd be the main reason when you consider the two highest grossing movies of all time (Avengers: Endgame and Avatar) have run times of 181 minutes and 161 minutes. The most likely causes were either a poor marketing campaign, or an audience who just hadn't engaged with the original movie.