Denis Villeneuve’s Dune (2021) harvested a better than expected $40.1 million to lead this weekend’s box office.
With a day-and-date HBO Max release, Dune was bound to make less than some of the recent weekend leaders, a fact which must be understood when assessing the success of the notoriously difficult to film sci-fi classic.
HBO Max subscribers have taken advantage of the one year edict by Warner Bros to put all of their major releases on the streamer, which has increased the subscriber base, but has also naturally made each day-and-date release much less profitable at your local cinema.
Having said that, Dune sold the most theatrical tickets of any simultaneous releases so far, beating Godzilla vs. Kong by almost $9 million (which opened with $31.6).
Dune has also been performing well abroad, where it has made $130 million so far, with openings in China, Korea, the U.K., Mexico, and Brazil, slated for next week. Outside of North America, French fans have purchased the most tickets to the tune of $26.2 million.
Critics and fans have responded well to the Dune (and you can read our review right here), as it currently has a score of 83% on the Tomatometer and a 91% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with an A- Cinemascore from those polled as they exited the theater this weekend.
Last week’s champ (which is also available to Peacock subscribers from the comfort of their owns homes), Halloween Kills, dropped a whopping 70.7% to finish in second place with a $14.5 weekend gross. With over $90 million worldwide, it appears that Michael Myers can still deliver, although the law of diminishing returns may get him before any angry mobs from Haddonfield do. Halloween Kills should have one more solid weekend, although with two horror films opening up Halloween weekend (Antlers and Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho), it may be difficult for the film to repeat this week’s second place finish.
Check back next week to see how Dune holds up, as cinema owners wait for Eternals to arrive on November 5 for another return to normally and big business.