'Dune 2' Doubles Domestic Box Office Opening Of First Movie

Last week saw the global launch of Denis Villeneuve’s second “Dune” film, wrapping up the conclusion of the first novel adaptation while also leaving everything on a cliffhanger for a third movie that the filmmaker is co-writing with franchise screenwriter Jon Spaihts. Strong critical responses and audience word of mouth have paid off big time for the film as it has made some history over the weekend, becoming the biggest opening for the director and overperforming compared to the first part that was released back in September 2021.

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Deadline is updating the numbers that were projected over the weekend as the domestic opening for “Dune: Part Two” overperformed with $82.5 million, along with an international take of $97 million for a robust global total of $179.5 million (The updated global numbers are now $182.5 million). It’s a solid opening for the film after “Dune” seemingly had a tougher time appealing to audiences and contending with COVID, doubling that installment’s domestic opening of $41 million.

It is an exceptional start considering that “Dune: Part Two” is perhaps a lot less accessible than the original one, which had mainly focused on holding the audience’s hand with extensive exposition and world-building while establishing the warring factions. The sequel jumped feet first into the weirder psychedelic aspects of the mythology partly due to the original novel being released in the mid-’60s and attempting to add the American counterculture into a sci-fi fantasy novel. Having a reported production budget of $190 million also likely gives them plenty of wiggle room when it comes to the next couple of weeks of release, and there is a feeling that given the more extensive scope/action of “Dune: Part Two,” it may see much more repeat business.

These numbers bode well for Legendary and Warners to greenlight “Dune Messiah,” giving Villeneuve his third and final installment in the franchise before moving on to other things. However, with priority projects like “Cleopatra” and “Rendezvous With Rama” expected to be on deck for Villeneuve, fans may have to be patient about when “Dune 3” will happen.