The recurring theme of the last few days has been Denis Villenueve’s Dune over-performing at the box office, and that’s continued now that the full weekend figures have come in. As per Deadline, the sci-fi epic hauled in a solid a solid $40.1 million, a new career-best for the director.
Not only that, but it’s comfortably the highest-grossing first frame for an HBO Max hybrid release, handily topping the $31.6 posted by Godzilla vs. Kong back in March. In even better news, and a very worrying sign of the times, it’s also the heftiest tally posted by any Warner Bros. movie at all since Joker exploded out of the blocks with $96.2 million way back in October 2019.
Part Two is looking more and more like a foregone conclusion with each passing day, which is just as well, because the ending of Dune is particularly infuriating. It was a bold gamble for the studio and Villenueve to cut to black without a conclusion when a sequel hasn’t even been given the official green light, but it’s probably going to work out in the long run.
Dune will also sail past $200 million globally by the end of today, and it’s in with a real shot of showing decent legs at the box office over the coming weeks, given that it should enjoy a nice bump heading into what’s typically the hottest period of the year for awards season favorites, with the film virtually guaranteed to nab a handful of nods in the technical categories at the very least.