Dune Part Two: Sequel rakes in millions at the global box office

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Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
3 Min Read
In Australia, the film made $9.1 million.
In Australia, the film made $9.1 million. Credit: Supplied/Warner Bros

The bigger the sandworm the bigger the box office? It’s not conventional wisdom but in the case of Dune Part Two, there’s some truth to it.

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic dominated the global box office this past weekend, collecting $US178.5 million.

In Australia, the film made $9.1 million, accounting for a 77 per cent market share of tickets sold for the top 10 movies. Two locations were IMAX screens in Sydney and Melbourne, which made up for 5.1 per cent of the total local box office share. Its overall screen average was a mighty impressive $11,620.

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In North America (comprising the US and Canada), the film sold $81.5 million worth of tickets, above expectations which were in the $US72 million to $US75 million range.

Dune Part Two’s robust box office was good news for cinemas which have had a quiet start to the year. Dune Part Two’s Australian opening weekend compares favourably to Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which opened at $9.36 million last year.

Timothee Chalamet is the star of the Dune franchise.
Timothee Chalamet is the star of the Dune franchise. Credit: Warner Bros

Starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, the film is a sequel to 2021 film Dune, which grossed over $US400 million globally. However, the first instalment was released in semi-pandemic conditions and, in the US, had to battle a simultaneous streaming debut.

The first Dune was re-released in early February and that weekend, it grossed $465,000.

The anticipation for Part Two led the national Dendy cinema chain to run a promotion where the film “took over” all of its locations except for its outdoor venue. Dendy ran only Dune Part Two sessions on Saturday. In its 10-screen Sydney Newtown location, it scheduled 39 sessions, roughly one every 20 minutes.

The two Dune movies were adapted from Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, a classic of the sci-fi literary canon. It tells the story of a young royal who becomes a central figure in a war for a precious commodity called “spice”.

Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Incendies, Arrival) split Herbert’s novel in two parts for the screen, however the second instalment was only greenlit after the first movie performed well at the box office.

Dune Part Two is in cinemas on February 29.
Dune Part Two features sci-fi creatures such as giant sandworms. Credit: Warner Bros

Villeneuve has said he would like to make a third film, adapting Herbert’s second book, Dune Messiah, but this has not been confirmed by the studio, Legendary Pictures. Given Dune Part Two’s opening weekend, the signs are Villeneuve will be able to complete his vision of a Dune trilogy.

In addition to Chalamet and Zendaya, Part Two starred Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgard, Rebecca Ferguson, Lea Seydoux, Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken and Javier Bardem.

There is also a Dune spin-off streaming series in the works, called Dune: Prophecy which will be set 10,000 years before the events of the Dune movies and follows the story of the secretive sect the Bene Gesserit.

The top grossing film in Australia so far this year is Mean Girls, the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical which was a reworking of the original 2004 comedy. Dune Part Two, after one weekend, is only $800,000 behind in spot two.

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