“Dune 2” revitalizes the box office with a whopping $81 million in weekend revenue

“Dune: Part 2” rides Those huge sandworms All the way to the top of the box office charts.

Denis Villeneuve's big-budget sequel grossed $81.5 million in its domestic debut, delivering a much-needed jolt to struggling movie theaters. It's the biggest opening weekend of the year and the biggest since Taylor Swift's concert film “The Eras Tour” last October ($93 million).

Buoyed by positive reviews and glowing word-of-mouth (it has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A” CinemaScore), “Dune 2” appears to have expanded its fan base beyond sci-fi buffs and reached the highest expectations. . Heading into the weekend, Warner Bros., the studio behind the otherworldly saga, projected a conservative $65 million debut, though most box office forecasters believe revenues will exceed $80 million.

At the international box office, Part 2 added $97 million to reach $178 million worldwide.

Like the first film, “Dune: Part Two” is especially popular in Imax and other premium large formats. PLFs, as they are known in the industry, contributed a whopping 48% to the film's domestic tally. Meanwhile, IMAX accounted for $18.5 million in ticket sales, representing 23% market share. Demand for watching 70mm films—the director's format of choice—was so high that some brave moviegoers resorted to a 3:15 a.m. screening time. (Yes me)

“Our most popular movie locations are literally sold out for weeks,” says Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax.

And with interest in higher-priced PLF screens, it looks like “Part 2” will have the legs to justify its expensive return to the desert planet of Arrakis. The film, co-produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment, cost $190 million to produce and about an additional $100 million to promote to global audiences. Initial ticket sales for the sequel far outstripped the original “Dune,” which opened in 2021, at $41 million while simultaneously landing on HBO Max. “Part One” finished its run with $402 million worldwide, making it one of the only financial gains from the studio's pandemic-era hybrid release strategy.

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The sequel was originally scheduled to hit the big screen last fall, but was postponed to the spring due to a actors' strike, preventing stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh and the rest of the sprawling cast from being able to screen it. Promotion of the film. On its new release date, the second Dune movie benefited from pent-up demand; There was not a huge turnout Weeks.

The opening returns of “Dune 2,” on the heels of Warner's fantasy musical “Wonka,” seem to confirm that Chalamet is that rarest of types: a bankable leading man. And the huge commercial results may position Villeneuve, with the possible exception of Christopher Nolan, as the director most capable of delivering the kinds of clever spectacle on the big screen that can appeal to a wide audience.

With “Dune: Part Two” consuming the majority of the oxygen in theaters, other films in theaters competed for scraps of paper. in far In second place, Paramount's musical biopic “Bob Marley: One Love” grossed $7.4 million in 3,390 theaters. The film, which stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the music legend, was a surprise hit at the box office, earning $82.7 million in North America and $146 million worldwide.

Hilary Swank's inspiring film “Ordinary Angels” remained in third place, earning $3.8 million from 3,020 sites. After two weeks on the big screen, the Lionsgate and Kingdom Story Company film has collected just $12 million. However, “Ordinary Angels” is said to have a modest budget in the low double digits, which may help make up for these lackluster revenues.

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In fourth place, Madame Web continued to achieve revenues of $3.2 million in 3,116 theaters. Sony's “Spider-Man,” in which Dakota Johnson plays a paramedic with psychic powers, cost $80 million and has so far grossed $40 million domestically and $50 million internationally.

Religious TV series “The Chosen” rounded out the top five with $3.1 million from 2,215 venues. Fathom Events released the fourth season of the series exclusively in theaters with two weeks of episodes, and this weekend's premiere included episodes seven and eight. Ticket sales were slightly behind episodes four through six, which brought in $3.5 million, and fell sharply from episodes one through three, which brought in $6 million to start and $14 million during its run.

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