It’s hard to quantify if Warner Bros. sending all of its 2021 releases to HBO Max has been a success or not, when box office earnings were crippled from day one. It’s definitely led to a huge surge in subscriber numbers for the platform, but the overwhelming majority of the studio’s movies have under-performed in theaters.
With the exception of Godzilla vs. Kong, which was aided significantly by a $188 million haul from China alone, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the only other of this year’s titles to have exceeded $200 million globally. The Little Things, The Suicide Squad and Space Jam: A New Legacy all hit number one yet failed to recoup their budgets, but at least Dune is off to a strong start.
As per Deadline, Denis Villenueve’s sci-fi epic earned $17.5 million on Friday to stay on track for a $35 million weekend. That’s a record Friday for an HBO Max hybrid that’ll turn into a new benchmark for a three-day frame, so by the standards of the pandemic era it’s shaping up to be a decent-sized hit.
The top brass are already teasing Part Two, which is the best sign Villenueve could hope for, so after all of his ranting against the streaming fiasco, it looks as though he’ll end up getting his Dune sequel in the end.