Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s intergalactic space saga Dune has flown far beyond predictions and grossed slightly over $40 million on its opening weekend. Outside of the United States where the movie had already been released a couple of weeks in advance, it has now bagged over $180 million.
After being released internationally a few weeks prior, the long-anticipated first part of the Dune films has had its debut weekend in the US. Predictions had originally estimated a modest opening weekend of about $30 to $35 million. The film had a much stronger Saturday and Sunday cinema attendance than the forecasted numbers had suggested and finished the weekend off with a whopping $41 million.
This is by far director Villeneuve’s best debut weekend of his career and the best start for a Warner Bros / HBO-Max movie release. Previously Godzilla vs Kong had generated $32.2 million on its opening weekend and Mortal Combat only $22.5 million. The comparison here is that both of these films were released simultaneously in movie theaters and on HBO-Max and they’re both action-packed, CGI-reliant, movie blockbusters.
One can argue that these two did so poorly in comparison because they were released when the pandemic was worse than it is today and thus moviegoers preferred the stay-at-home option provided by WarnerMedia. Which begs the question, if young audiences are willing to go to cinemas again and pay for the big screen experience, then how much could Dune have cashed in on its debut had it been released exclusively in theaters.
Internationally Dune has done great and when combined with its American opening weekend numbers it has now grossed over $220 million in total. With or without its HBO-Max release in the US, the movie truly over performed and cruised past any prediction numbers.