The early numbers are in. Dune’s international box office has yielded sizeable takings over the weekend – and indicates Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi blockbuster is set to do well on the big screen.
As per Variety, the staggered worldwide release of Dune has already collected $36m. It may not seem like much, but it’s already proving a hit with limited capacity audiences in typically weak markets such as Russia, France, and Italy – and is not a figure to be dismissed in the pandemic era.
It remains to be seen whether the simultaneous launch on HBO Max will affect the box office elsewhere, but the early signs are good for a movie that is already pinning hopes on a sequel.
Villeneuve exclusively told sister publication SFX Magazine that the first movie would have to do "really badly" for it to not get a sequel.
The director also echoed those thoughts in an interview with Total Film: "[The studio] feel that it would need a really bad outcome at the box office to not have a Dune: Part Two, because they love the movie. They are proud of the movie, so they want the movie to move forward. And they still did half of it. So, you know, I’m very optimistic."
Even a big surge in HBO Max viewers would likely lead to a clamor for a big screen sequel, but you get the feeling that the box office chatter around Dune will be more intense than most and adds some extra spice to proceedings.
Dune is out on October 21 in cinemas in the UK and October 22 in theaters and on HBO Max in the US.
For more on what’s still to come in 2021, here are all of the major movie release dates headed your way.