EntertainmentDune: Part Two" soars at global box office, eyeing third sequel

Dune: Part Two" soars at global box office, eyeing third sequel

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, one of the characters in "Dune"
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, one of the characters in "Dune"
Images source: © Press materials
1:22 PM EDT, March 18, 2024
"Dune: Part Two" is currently the biggest box office hit of 2024, on the verge of ensuring another sequel.
The worldwide debut of "Dune: Part Two" on March 1st netted $178.5 million during its opening weekend, nearly recouping its $190 million budget. Three weeks in, Denis Villeneuve's masterpiece has amassed $494.7 million, split between $208 million from North America and $289.4 million internationally. By Monday, it's expected to cross the half-billion-dollar profit mark, a rare feat in the post-pandemic film landscape.
This year's most financially successful film outside the US and Canada, "Dune: Part Two," boasts top viewership in China ($36 million), the UK ($32.8 million), Germany ($25 million), France ($24.9 million), and Australia ($15.6 million). Stellar reviews and the draw of premium formats have sustained its ticket sales momentum. Impressively, the film surpassed the $100 million mark from Imax screenings alone last weekend, becoming the seventh fastest film to reach this benchmark.
Given the significant investment of $190 million for production and an additional $100 million for promotion, "Dune: Part Two" was under pressure to perform. It needed to gross half a billion dollars just to break even. Surpassing this threshold means it will soon start generating profit, making the prospect of a third installment more likely—a relief for fans concerned about the series' future.
The debut of the first "Dune" installment occurred during the tumultuous period of the coronavirus pandemic, posing a challenging time for cinemas worldwide. With multiplexes operating at merely 20-30% of pre-pandemic levels at the time of its release, the film industry, particularly movies targeting older demographics, faced significant setbacks. Most avoided theaters, anticipating streaming releases instead.
Released in September 2021, "Dune," with its $165 million budget, carried substantial financial risks. Yet, adapting Frank Herbert's novel proved to be one of the few pandemic-era films to draw older viewers back to cinemas, ultimately earning $433.8 million worldwide.
However, its success wasn't immediately apparent, raising concerns about the sequel's market performance and the franchise's sustainability. The inclusion of a star-studded cast (Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Javier Bardem, Zendaya) and exceptional visuals, eventually, were significant draws for audiences.
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