Box Office: 'Dune' Stays #1; October Is Best Month of Pandemic

The Weekend's Top 3 Box Office Winners: Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" - $15.5M; "Halloween Kills" - $8.5M; "No Time to Die" - $7.8M.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

Box Office - Timothee Chalamet in "Dune."

© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Denis Villeneuve's "Dune" kept its Number One position in its second week, as the strongest box office month of the pandemic came to a close. The sci-fi epic took in an additional $15.5M, bringing its overall domestic haul to $69.4. This was a 62% drop from the opening week, but Warner Bros is still seeing the positive, having greenlit a sequel dated for 2023. "Dune" didn't have any major in-theater competition this weekend, but it was up against Halloween, which is notorious for keeping bodies from cinemas.

Beyond "Dune," it was a weekend for specialty releases. Focus Features' "Last Night in Soho" and Searchlight's "Antlers" were the weekend's two new spooky titles. Despite solid reviews, both films failed to crack the Top Five, with each only netting $4.2M. Both films from two acclaimed directors, Edgar Wright for "Soho" and Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart") for "Antlers," rolled out wide to over 3,000 theaters. It was an atypical release strategy for films that, pre-COVID, would have first hit arthouses before expanding. But, it worked, especially as a boost to struggling arthouses.

© Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

On the flip-side, FUNimation's anime entry "My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission" overperformed. The animated adventure debuted in roughly half as many theaters as the two newcomers, yet still overtook them and Sony's five-week-old "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" to place fourth with $6.4M. The strong performance of "My Hero Academia" is reminiscent of FUNimation's springtime hit "Demon Slayer: Mugen Train." In April, that film gave WB's "Mortal Kombat" a run for its money with a strong $21.1M opening.

Halloween festivities might have kept this weekend from being "spook-tacular" at the box office, but October was the strongest month yet of the pandemic. This is thanks to the big openings of "Venom 2" and MGM's "No Time to Die," as well as "Halloween Kills" and "Dune," which performed exactly as expected. As comfort levels return, it's equally comforting to see studios pumping new and exciting films back into cinemas.

Up ahead, this weekend is "Eternals," Disney and Marvel's third feature of 2021 and their second in-theater exclusive. Analysts expect the new MCU entry, from Academy Award winner Chloe Zhao, to pull in big profits in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Surely, more positive gains are ahead in November.

Box Office Top Ten - Oct. 29-31:

  1. "Dune" (WB) - $15,530,000 / Total: $69,401,232
  2. "Halloween Kills" (Universal) - $8,500,000 / Total: $85,633,610
  3. "No Time to Die" (MGM) - $7,818,525 / Total: $133,329,260
  4. "My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission" (FUNimation) - $6,403,286 [NEW]
  5. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (Sony) - $5,750,000 / Total: $190,441,558
  6. "Last Night in Soho" (Focus Features) - $4,160,000 [NEW]
  7. "Antlers" (Searchlight) - $4,160,000 [NEW]
  8. "Ron's Gone Wrong" (20th Century) - $3,828,000 / Total: $12,639,987
  9. "The Addams Family 2" (UAR) - $3,276,353 / Total: $52,857,872
  10. "The French Dispatch" (Searchlight) - $2,759,000 / Total: $4,636,210

Box office data comes to us from Box Office Mojo.

Matt Lissauer

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.

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