Denis Villenueve’s Dune is one of the most unique, ambitious, and eye-popping blockbusters to come out of Hollywood in a long time. But the jury is still very much out on whether or not it can perform well enough at the box office to make part two a reality.
On the plus side, the sci-fi epic has already earned $130 million internationally, but the real test of its mettle comes this weekend. As per Deadline, with the movie also releasing in China on Friday, Dune is on course for a global three-day frame in excess of $70 million, which would offset any potential shortcomings on home soil.
The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel should set some pandemic-era records for Warner Bros., if it can manage to top Godzilla vs. Kong‘s $31 million debut. If so, Dune would score the highest opening for an HBO Max hybrid, with the MonsterVerse spectacular also the only one of the studio’s day-and-date titles to pass $100 million domestic.
WB are expecting somewhere between $30-35 million on return, which isn’t great given the $165 million budget and additional marketing costs. But HBO Max has essentially crippled the earning potential of many high-profile movies starting with last December’s Wonder Woman 1984, so the benchmark to see that Dune sequel given the green light will be a great deal lower than it was eighteen months ago.