What Saved Blade Runner, According to Visionary Award-Winner
Blade Runner is one of the most famous sci-fi films of all time, and understandably (if bizarrely delayed), its sequel is heading into production early this year. But, surprisingly enough, Blade Runner wasn't always the success we might consider it now.
Released in the summer of 1982, the film had a terrible life at the box office, failing to draw a crowd. The film's 'visual futurist' Syd Mead believes the film's prospering shelf life is owed to the extinct VHS market.
Mead is famous for his work on films like Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Elysium, proving himself a seasoned sci-fi visionary. In fact, that was the exact award he won at the Visual Effects Society Awards, taking home the trophy labelled the 'Visionary Award'.
"The movie comes out, if enough people like it, fine. If they don't, it doesn't go anywhere. And the VCR saved Blade Runner. It was one of the top rental movies for a couple months," Mead told Collider.
Made on a budget of $28 million, Blade Runner only went home with $33 million at the end of its theatrical run. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, alternately, was made for $10.5 million, and brought in Blade Runner's total international gross in its opening two weeks (released that same year).
Its shelf life then might owe its thanks to its timely release on home video, out the year after its theatrical run. E.T. on the other hand took an entire six years before it hit the home market.