There are some things that just plain ruin cinema for a lot of normally enthusiastic cinema fans and the idea that a Transformers movie could make a billion dollars while something as important and worthy as Blade Runner 2049 stumbles disastrously at the box office is right up there.
Despite glowing critical reviews and lots of buzz, the belated sequel to genre-defining cult classic Blade Runner is so far limping towards an underwhelming haul that started badly with a $30m domestic pull. Considering it reportedly cost somewhere north of $150m (with marketing on top of that), that will not make for comfortable reading.
There are now, inevitably, lots of theories on what went wrong. Limited representation, a fundamental lack of positive escapism and the ordeal of watching something so long have been widely discussed already, but essentially, it seems that the film failed to connect. Regardless of how beautiful it is and how admirably well made, it missed the magic that turns something from artistically of merit to financially successful. And though die-hard fans will insist the former is more important, the studios needed it to be both. This is a business, after all.
So why did it underwhelm at the box office?