Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Dune: Part Two hit three-week tracking today and everyone is going nuts with projections as it’s been a barren marketplace.
The most conservative sees the sequel to the Denis Villeneuve feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel between $65M+, which is 59%-83% higher than the opening of Dune back in 2021 ($41M); you’ll remember that movie’s ticket sales were siphoned by its day-and-date availability on HBO Max during the pandemic. However, fanboys still went to see Dune in theaters with the movie becoming the second-highest grossing day and date/HBO Max movie for Warner Media at $402M WW (stateside it was a record at $108.3M).
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Dune: Part Two tickets went on sale on Jan. 26, 34 days out. We hear that presales out of the gate indicate that Dune: Part Two is pacing ahead of the advance ticket sales of Universal’s Oppenheimer, which makes sense given that fanboys are the first to buy. However, some are careful not to comp the Villeneuve sequel to Oppenheimer since that 3-hour Christopher Nolan directed biopic saw its early opening projections of $40M-$50M mushroom to $82.4M, largely due to Barbie halo effect. Then again, some think Dune: Part Two has a shot at $75M-$80M+
Also, get a grip: While many want to put pressure on Dune: Part Two to overindex due to the dead box office environment caused by the strikes, a $65M opening to a movie that opened to $41M day/date on streaming, is commendable. Anyway you cut it, it’s a great start in a dead environment where the annual box office at $582M is pacing 13% behind last year (Jan. 1- Feb. 4) due to the lack of tentpoles.
Currently, Dune: Part Two is looking great as a four-quad movie, pulling in 18+ with natch, definite interest from guys.
The boosting of projections here stems from Warner Bros. one-two-punch of early marketing. Ten minutes of the sandworm scene in Dune: Part Two was shown in 52 theaters back in Jan. 24, while there were trailers airing around the same time during NFL playoff games. That put guys on their cellphones, snapping up tickets.
— Fandango (@Fandango) February 7, 2024
Exhibitors have been pushing the movie as well; yesterday online ticket service Fandango dropped a six-minute clip.
Also, don’t forget there will be exclusive Dune: Part Two footage running on Imax prints of Nolan’s Tenet for one week starting Feb. 23 in drum up more interest for the movie.
You’ll remember that Dune: Part Two was originally scheduled to open during the first weekend in November, but moved to March 3 due to the actors strike. It was smart to wait: Already the sequel’s hottest castmembers of Zendaya, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet and Austin Butler teamed up to appear on Jimmy Kimmel, a month in advance of the movie’s release.
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