"Dune" has finally landed. After a long, strange trip through pandemic delays, the epic sci-fi adaptation from Denis Villeneuve arrived in theaters with a $41M opening. This might not have been as big a bang at the box office as the past three major October releases, but "Dune" did nab the best opening for Warner Bros since "Godzilla vs. Kong" in March (coincidentally also a co-production with Legendary).
The epic sci-fi film most certainly demanded big screens, and "Dune" delivered. Nearly 20% of "Dune's" $41M haul was from IMAX screens. As a result, this made their share one of the biggest opening weekends for the theater company and format.
"Dune" also stands as Villeneuve's biggest opening to date, besting the $32.7M opening gross of 2017's "Blade Runner 2049." Both movies are reimaginings of cult hits from the 1980s. "Dune," however, is the only one to open against a pandemic and a same-day streaming debut. The HBO Max debut most certainly cut into ticket sales. It will also likely hurt its legs in the upcoming weeks. As such, the question remains whether W.B. feels the $41M opening is big enough to grant Villeneuve a "Part 2." For its part, the studio is considering both theater and streamer performance before giving the green light.
The weekend also showed the box office power of Timothy Chalamet. The actor was the main face of two ensembles, "Dune" and Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch." As "Dune" reigned at number one, "The French Dispatch" turned in a strong $1.3M from only 52 theaters. This was enough to push it into the top ten. While many adult-oriented movies have struggled, "The French Dispatch" shows that certain audiences will turn out. This can bode well for Edgar Wright's "Last Night in Soho," which opens this week.
20th Century/Disney's family-friendly "Ron's Gone Wrong" was this weekend's only other major title. Unlike most kid-oriented films this year, "Ron's Gone Wrong" was a theatrical exclusive. Its muted $7.3M opening may show there's still some hesitancy on the part of families, but its positive reviews and an "A" CinemaScore confirm that those who saw it loved it. The original animated film should have legs between now and the November 10 release of Paramount's "Clifford the Big Red Dog." Unlike "Ron's Gone Wrong," Paramount is releasing "Clifford" the same day on Paramount+.
Last week's topper, "Halloween Kills," dropped 71% to Number 2 with a weekend take of $14.5M and an overall gross of $73.1M. While the film's simultaneous release on Peacock didn't hurt it last week, its streaming availability is now cutting into repeat ticket sales. This is similar to "Black Widow" over the summer, which saw a steep second-weekend drop due to its premium at-home availability on Disney+ Premier Access. Unlike "Black Widow," however, "Halloween Kills" is available at no extra cost to paid tier subscribers of Peacock.
Halloween is not typically a major box office weekend, but the power of October's releases thus far should prove it to be robust. This weekend's major titles include the aforementioned "Last Night in Soho" and Searchlight's slow-burn spookfest "Antlers," starring Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons. While not huge tentpoles in the slightest, both films have been well-received by critics.
Box Office Top Ten - Oct. 22-24:
- "Dune" (WB) - $41,011,174 [NEW]
- "Halloween Kills" (Universal) - $14,450,215 / Total: $73,055,060
- "No Time to Die" (MGM) - $12,202,368 / Total: $120,357,453
- "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (Sony) - $9,301,908 / Total: $182,031,539
- "Ron's Gone Wrong" (20th Century) - $7,300,225 [NEW]
- "The Addams Family 2" (UAR) - $4,495,736 / Total: $48,474,713
- "The Last Duel" (20th Century) - $2,066,168 / Total: $8,534,136
- "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (Disney) - $2,019,505 / Total: $220,993,337
- "The French Dispatch" (Searchlight) - $1,348,804 [NEW]
- "Honsla Rakh" (White Hill) - $490,000 / Total: $1,800,000
Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.