'Dune 2' Hailed as 'Cultural Moment' as It Heats Up Sleepy Box Office With Massive Debut
Warner Bros.

Denis Villeneuve's epic sci-fi film rides to No. 1 in the North American chart with an estimated $81.5 million opening domestically and $178.5 million globally.

AceShowbiz - "Dune: Part Two" rides out the storm on its opening weekend. After it got delayed due to the Hollywood strikes in 2023, the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2021 movie makes a huge splash at the box office with a huge opening of an estimated $81.5 million.

Forty-eight percent of total domestic box office sales this weekend came from premium large formats like IMAX 70 mm, IMAX Digital and Dolby Cinema, where tickets sell at slightly higher price points than those of regular-sized theaters. IMAX screenings made up $18.5 million (23%) of the total, a record for a March release.

" 'Dune: Part Two' became a must-see event on the biggest screen possible and, given the reputation of director Denis Villeneuve as a cinematic genius who uses the massive canvas of the movie theatre, this should come as no surprise," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

The "Dune" sequel is also a big hit overseas, grossing $97 million in other territories outside of the United States and Canada. It has so far grossed $178.5 million worldwide, nearly covering its big budget of $190 million.

"This is just what the box office needed and much higher than any of us could predict," said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures, which distributed the movie. "That's especially true given that it's a sci-fi movie, which is a genre that is a hard nut to crack. And we grossed $178.5 million worldwide, which is quite a standup."

"We created a cultural moment, and it started with this extraordinary movie that Denis Villeneuve told in a really compelling way, and a cast has worked their butt off around the world for this movie," Goldstein continued.

Goldstein also has high hope on the movie's long play as he believes the appeal of "Dune: Part Two" on larger screens bodes well for the film's staying power and audiences are eager to watch it in theaters. "Advanced sales are really balanced all through this week and into the next two weeks," he noted. "We're going into the spring break period where this movie really has the opportunity to play for a long time."

"This is an outstanding opening for a science-fiction [sequel]," David A. Gross of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research weighed in. "Audiences are connecting with these human, vulnerable [characters]."

Starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya Coleman as part of the returning cast, the epic sci-fi movie received glowing reviews from critics, with 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences gave the film an average grade of A on CinemaScore.

"Dune: Part Two" leads the chart way ahead of "Bob Marley: One Love", which drops to No. 2 with an estimated $7.4 million. "Ordinary Angels" holds on to the third place with approximately $3.85 million, followed by "Madame Web" that added an estimated $3.2 million to its disappointing domestic revenue. Newcomer "The Chosen: S4 Episodes 7-8" trails behind at No. 5 with approximately $3.15 million.

Top 10 of North American Box Office (Mar. 01-03, 2024):

  1. "Dune: Part Two" - $81.5 million
  2. "Bob Marley: One Love" - $7.4 million
  3. "Ordinary Angels" - $3.85 million
  4. "Madame Web" - $3.2 million
  5. "The Chosen: S4 Episodes 7-8" - $3.15 million
  6. "Migration" - $2.5 million
  7. "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Hashira Training" - $2.1 million
  8. "Wonka" - $1.7 million
  9. "Argylle" - $1.4 million
  10. "The Beekeeper" - $1.1 million

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