Blade Runner 2049 heading for $45 million opening weekend

Box office projections for Blade Runner 2049 have been bumped up in the wake of stellar reviews. The film was initially tracking to make $40 million in its opening, but is now headed for a $45 to $50 million opening weekend, according to Deadline.

Blade Runner 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the first film. The movie focuses on a new LAPD blade runner in Officer K (Ryan Gosling), who unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what is left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find former LAPD blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for the last three decades.

The first Blade Runner film didn't make a huge box office splash when it hit theaters in 1982, grossing $6.15 million in its opening weekend on its way to a $32.87 million total. (via Box Office Mojo) However, the movie has since achieved a cult following, and the fact that some critics are calling the sequel better than the original has many fans very, very excited for 2049's release. 

In addition to the $45 million plus it is expected to bring in domestically, the film is tracking to make somewhere in the mid-$50 million range internationally, for a worldwide total of over $100 million in its opening weekend. These numbers put it solidly in the same range as some other modern reboots of popular 1970s and 1980s properties, including Mad Max: Fury Road ($45.4 million domestic opening weekend), Tron: Legacy ($44 million domestic opening weekend), and Prometheus ($51 million domestic opening weekend). 

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) steps behind the camera for the upcoming R-rated sequel, which is based on a script from the original film's Hampton Fancher and Murder on the Orient Express' Michael Green. Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Mackenzie Davis, Edward James Olmos, Carla Juri, and Barkhad Abdi also star. Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters on Oct. 6.