Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” debuted with $40.1 million in ticket sales in its opening weekend in North America, drawing a large number of moviegoers to see the thundering sci-fi epic on the big screen, despite it also being available to stream in homes.
Despite being forecasted to open between $30 million and $35 million, the film did impressive numbers despite the fact that it was also available to HBO Max subscribers. Globally, Dune has already earned $220 million, almost guaranteeing that Villeneuve’s planned sequel will get the greenlight over at WB.
The film, which features a star-studded cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, and Javier Bardem, was originally supposed to be released last year. After pandemic-related delays, WB announced it would premiere on HBO Max as well as theaters, much to the chagrin of Villeneuve, who insisted that his opus should be watched exclusively on the big screen.
It appears as though audiences heard him loud and clear. And while Dune’s opening week numbers pale in comparison to anything Marvel-related, it’s still quite a feat for a property that was considered by many to be unadaptable.
“Denis made an extraordinary movie and fans are enthusiastically appreciating it and spreading excellent word of mouth,” Warner Bros. Theatrical Domestic Distribution Jeff Goldstein told Deadline.
Villeneuve has been publicly adamant that his plan was always to make a sequel, and based on the enthusiasm from Chalamet and Zendaya in recent interviews, it would appear that all systems are a go for a Dune sequel.
“Halloween Kills” slid steeply in its second week with $14.5 million, good for second place.
“No Time to Die,” Cary Fukunaga’s theater-only James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, came in third with $11.9 million in its third week.