Blade Runner 2 is happening whether you want it to or not, and now it has a release date that is pretty weird given the star power surrounding this thing: January 18, 2018.
January has always been the dumping ground for strange CGI disasters and movies with which the studios have little to no confidence. Now that The Hollywood Reporter tells us a sequel to one of the more influential sci-fi films of all time, with Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard, Ryan Gosling co-starring, and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve behind the camera, is getting a mid-January release, what does that say about studio confidence?
It could say quite a bit. There are some things to consider here. First of all, January 18 will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, so perhaps placing Blade Runner 2 here is an attempt to tap into extra time off for consumers. Second, maybe Blade Runner 2 will get an R rating and the recent success of Deadpool – R rated in the winter months, etc. – is expanding to release dates in 2018. That seems unlikely, but you never know.
If tradition is to be believed, this is a strange release date for a film that, however unnecessary, has a built in following given the expansive reach of the original film (it can be debated whether or not the original is really that good, but it’s influences are undeniable). Warner Bros. release schedule for 2018 includes The Flash, (presumably) the second Justice League film, Godzilla 2, Aquaman… their tentpoles are all but set. But they have room in October 2018. Even November. Anywhere but January, where films come and go in the wake of Oscar hopefuls expanding wide and awards season dominating most of the film landscape.
Maybe it’s a radical new test, but maybe the studio realizes this isn’t really a necessary film no matter where it lands on the calendar. Hopefully that its the case.