China Box Office: ‘Dune: Part Two’ Makes Solid $20M Start

Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Dune: Part Two got off to a healthy start at China’s box office over the weekend, opening with a solid $20 million, just a notch below the first film’s $21.9 million debut in 2021.

Warner Bros. reported Dune 2 as winning the weekend in China, whereas regional box office consultancy Artisan Gateway’s data had the holdover Taiwanese crime thriller The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon taking the frame by a sliver with $21.3 million.

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In any case, Denis Villeneuve’s artful sci-fi epic has fared far better than most recent Hollywood tentpoles in China, where local interest in U.S. filmmaking has plummeted in recent years. Dune 2 has also given Villeneuve and star Timothée Chalamet their biggest China openings to date.

The film has high ratings of 9.3 on the leading ticketing app Maoyan and 8.3 on the taste-making site Douban. On Monday, Dune 2 had pulled far ahead of The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon, with nearly 40 percent of ticket sales for the day compared to 20 percent for the Chinese film. Maoyan currently projects that Dune 2 will top out at about $78 million (RMB560 million), nearly double Dune: Part One‘s $38 million total.

As elsewhere, Dune 2 is performing especially powerfully on Imax. The film earned nearly $6.5 million at the giant screen operator’s China venues, just shy of one-third of its total haul.

Chinese romantic drama I Miss You, directed by Han Yan (Animal World, Go Away Mr. Tumor), came in third for the weekend with $13.6 million. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Zheng Zhi.

Upcoming Hollywood releases in China include Kung Fu Panda 4 on March 22 and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire on March 29.

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