The 2021 version of Dune is now out in movie theaters - but it is also streaming at home on HBO Max at the same time. With Dune having been a major blockbuster tentpole for Warner Bros. - and more importantly, the first chapter of what could be an epic trilogy - all eyes are on the film's box office performance. So how is Dune doing in theaters with that HBO Max streaming option also on the table? So far, so good, judging by the early returns. Dune has earned a reported $5.1 million in Thursday night previews, setting on pace for a strong opening weekend overall.
For a recent comparison, the horror sequel Halloween Kills opened with $4.9M in Thursday preview box office, and James Bond's No Time To Die earned $6.3M on its Thursday opening. Halloween Kills went on to earn approximately $50M in its opening weekend; No Time to Die walked away with $55M. That's a strong early sign that Dune could be headed for a strong post-pandemic box office opening.
As stated, there are a lot of factors at play with Dune that the industry is keeping a close eye on this weekend - starting with how the box office and HBO Max viewership numbers coincide. As stated, director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2041) had plans for a multi-film retelling of Frank Herbert's Dune saga - a pivotal sequel that would require a big budget and shooting commitment from Warner Bros. and all the creative team and actors involved.
As of release week, WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff is signaling that a Dune sequel is already something of a done deal - no matter what happens on opening weekend: "Will we have a sequel to Dune? If you watch the movie you see how it ends. I think you pretty much know the answer to that."
A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity's greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.—Warner Bros.
Dune is now out in theaters and on HBO Max.